Closer than you Think

Closer than you think

Psalm 34:18

“The Lord is near to the brokenhearted; He saves those crushed in spirit.”

John 11:35-36

“Jesus wept. So the Jews said, “See how he loved him.” But some of them said “couldn’t he who opened the blind man’s eyes also have kept this man from dying?”


                Lots of times when the tables turn against us, tragedy strikes, and we are down on our luck, we believe that we are a million miles away from God. And, to be honest it can feel like that, I know I have felt like that at times in my life before. But I wonder why we feel this way? Do we feel like God is right beside us when we are being showered with blessings? When work is good. The family is good. The kids are making good grades and staying out of trouble? If I had to answer the last question for myself I would say that during those times of blessing I don’t really think about God at all I am just too busy soaking in all that is going right at the time.

                So why is that when we fall into a funk we believe that God has somehow forsaken us and left us to our vices to die? I would argue that it is probably completely the opposite. I would say that God is just as close as He has ever been to you when you are suffering. Hebrews 4:15 says that we don’t have a God that knows nothing about human suffering, but instead we have a God that has been tested in every single way we were, and didn’t sin. We serve a God that not only controls the heartache and the sad times, but we serve a God that lived out heartache and sad times.

                The exert from John 11 is from the raising of Lazarus, one of Jesus most beloved friends. Lazarus sisters had sent for Jesus a few days before he died asking him to come and heal their brother but Jesus delayed a few days and his friend died, but we know that it was for the good because Jesus showed up and rose Lazarus from the dead. But what I want to kind of look at is that simple phrase that we know as the shortest verse in the Bible. Jesus wept. What does this tell us about Jesus? He didn’t just show up and tell the sisters he was going to raise him and there was nothing to worry about. No, he wept over the death of his dear friend. He shows us that God truly is close to the brokenhearted. He felt the loss of a friend. He felt the pain of thinking that the sister might would have to go on without their brother. He felt every last bit of what we feel when we lose someone close to us.

                But God does not stop there, because he knows what it is like to be betrayed by someone you considered as close to you as a brother, and you washed his feet, and he handed you over to be killed. He felt the physical pounding that the Roman soldiers gave him, even though his heart was so full of love for them that he prayed for them while hanging on a cross, suffocating to death.  He felt the sorrow of having to see his mother cry at the sight of his disfigures body, mangled by the beating he received and the death soon to follow. He felt the emptiness of having all of his closest friends, besides one, run away when he needed them most. And he felt the weight of God’s eyes turning away from him as he bore the sins of every single human being.

                When we think that God is a million miles away during our suffering maybe we should take a better look at the God that we serve because we don’t serve a God that sees us in our affliction and has no idea what we are going through. No, we serve a God that left the glories of heaven and came down to free us from those sufferings that we experience. To show us that he has suffered so that we don’t have to. And while we may go through heartache and pain here on earth, as long as we have placed our faith in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ we will experience an eternity of glory with him in heaven. It has been said that “the first second of glory will make a lifetime of suffering disappear”. So if you are suffering, watch out, because God is closer than you think.
-Pastor Tyler Mooring