God Who Weeps With Us
When Mary came where Jesus was and saw him, she knelt at his feet and said to him, "Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died." When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who came with her also weeping, he was greatly disturbed in spirit and deeply moved. He said, "Where have you laid him?" They said to him, "Lord, come and see." Jesus began to weep. So the Jews said, "See how he loved him!" John 11:32-36 (NRSV)
For his anger is but for a moment; his favor is for a lifetime. Weeping may linger for the night, but joy comes with the morning. Psalm 30:5(NRSV)
Navamani Peter lives in Karnataka, India. Her son, who was 19 and a first-year medical student, died suddenly in a swimming accident. They were devastated. In their pain they questioned God: Why did this happen when his future seemed so bright? Many friends visited them to comfort and pray with them. One of her husband's friends wrote a letter, in which he said, "You must be wondering where God was at that time. He was right there weeping with you." These words comforted Navamani, and she was reminded of the time Jesus grieved with Martha and Mary when their brother Lazarus died. (See John 11:35.) God is indeed right by our side grieving when we grieve.
As time went by, Navamani decided to enroll in seminary to study the scriptures and learn more about the God who weeps with us. She was ordained and worked as a pastor for a few years. She was able to empathize with families who were going through an experience of loss and grief.
Four decades after the loss of her son, God is still strengthening Navamani. She has known God's grace and comfort through the love and encouragement of her husband, her children, and her church community. Our God of compassion and love is good all the time, and Navamani knows that a day will come when she will join her son in God's heavenly presence.
Prayer: Loving Father, thank you for your steadfast love and abiding presence. Fill us with your grace and peace, especially in times of pain and brokenness, in Jesus' name. Amen.