Seven years ago, I lost my younger brother and grief came thundering in. The pit was deep, the trial long, and the accompanying feelings were formidable. After the fog began to clear, I was reminded of a passage from Luke that the Lord gave me right before my brother passed away.
“As he drew near to the gate of the town, behold, a man who had died was being carried out, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow, and a considerable crowd from the town was with her. And when the Lord saw her, he had compassion on her and said to her, ‘Do not weep.’ Then he came up and touched the bier, and the bearers stood still. And he said, ‘Young man, I say to you, arise.’ And the dead man sat up and began to speak, and Jesus gave him to his mother” (Luke 7:12-15).
A widow had lost her only son (first her husband, and now her son) and was walking, dare I say limping, to his burial. Did you notice that the Bible says that the Lord came to her? He was walking into town, saw the procession, and stopped. Then, his heart filled with concern, he went to her and spoke to her words of comfort, and then he touched her son. He reacted with what came naturally to him: he came near. He drew close to the pain and interceded for this woman with healing mercies.
That is a Savior that can be trusted with our deepest hurts.
What does it mean for Christ to offer himself to you as Comforter when you are hurting or grieving? It means knowing the One who loves you–really, really loves you and knows you–is not standing off to the side, removed physically and emotionally from your pain. He doesn’t glance at your grief and walk on by, or come close and reprimand. He enters into the situation with a hurting heart as well, reaching his arms out to you. He knows you are in pain and his heart hurts, too. And this is a Savior who can be trusted with our feelings because he is a Savior who was intimately acquainted with them as well.
Take heart, sister, that when you identify with this widow, when it feels like your world has fallen apart and you are walking to bury your future, it is precisely then that your Savior steps in, touches your grief, wraps it in his hands, and whispers, “I know. I see you, and I’m here.” It was in this grief and pain that I began to know him as my Comforter, because I glimpsed his heart, a heart that bends with compassion when his people are hurting.