“This isn’t how life is supposed to be.” These words of a young mother battling breast cancer have stuck in my head all year. I heard them again when dear friends got horrendous news of the untimely deaths of two of their family members in two separate incidents. Then I turned on the television and saw the news of the school shooting in Connecticut. “What’s happening to this world?” my elderly mother-in-law asked. I heard it again, “This isn’t how life is supposed to be.” My heart literally aches within my chest and I want to sit with Job in his pile of ashes and physically, audibly mourn.
Revelation 8 bears witness to the battle that is going on. Pain and suffering, sin and death are at work. We have reason to mourn. To go on like nothing has happened is foolishness. And yet there is beauty in the mourning, because we are heard. God is with us. We are not without hope. We are not abandoned. He grieves with us, so much that He sent his Son to break the power of sin and death by his death on the cross and resurrection. This isn’t theory. It is the reality l lean hard on for myself and for those around me.
So this week, I will go sit with my friends and mourn their losses. Hopefully our physical presence will bring some comfort. I don’t think words will make much of a difference. I will have the simple Christmas song in my heart, “Be near me, Lord Jesus, I ask Thee to stay close by me forever, and love me, I pray. Bless all the dear children in they humble care and fit us for heaven to live with thee there.”
Come Lord Jesus, come.