Coping with Life Issues

Faith Matters

Discovery . . . Relief . . . Recovery . . . Hope

Faith is taking the first step when you don't even see the whole staircase - Dr. Martin Luther King jnr.

Tears of Sorrow . . . Tears of Joy

Pain, loss and death are common to us all. Death comes into our homes as an unwelcome and unwanted guest. He cannot be barred from any home, from the rich or the poor, the young or the old, the sick or the well.

The pain and suffering of grief is especially difficult for a widow who loses her only son in death. In the depths of the "valley of the shadow of death" for such a grieving mother the future can appear void of hope; a first step of faith impossible.

In a sleepy little village in Palestine there once lived a widow who had an only son. He was his mum's pride and joy. He was all she had. One day, death stalked in and without notice, snatched him away. She was devastated.

On the day of the funeral Jesus of Nazareth was passing by the township. Deeply moved by the mother's sorrow, He approached the grief stricken mother and with gentle, compassionate words assured her that her dark night of sorrow was about to burst into a glorious sunshine of surprise and ecstatic joy.

Then, to the astonishment of everyone, Jesus moved forward and laid His hand on the open casket and halted the funeral procession. The relatives, mourners and people were aghast. "How dare this peasant show such disrespect for the bereaved," they murmered, "what an insensitive fellow!"

In the still of the moment, under the intense scrutiny of the pressing crowd, Jesus leaned over the form of the dead boy and spoke to him.

"Young man," he said, "I say to you, get up"

The boy stirred. The people fell back in fear. Then, the boy sat up and began to speak.

What a scene. What a drama of joy. What a change in a grieving woman's life. One moment she was drowning in tears of deepest sorrow, the next, her tears were turned to torrents of joy as Jesus took her boy by the hand and helped him out of the casket and gave him hack to her.

Jesus, the Healer of human hearts, never changes. He who was so compassionate in those days so long ago, is the same today. Here is what one writer, who had suffered much pain and sorrow throughout her life, wrote about Him.

"Through all our trials we have a never failing helper. He does not leave us alone to struggle with temptation, to battle with evil, and be finally crushed with burdens and sorrow. Though now He is hidden from mortal sight the ear of faith can hear his voice saying,

'Fear not; I am with you...I have endured your sorrows, experienced your struggles, encountered your temptations. I know your tears; I also have wept. The griefs that lie too deep to be breathed into any human ear, I know. Think not that you are desolate and forsaken. Though your pain may touch no responsive chord in any heart on earth, look unto Me, and live. The mountains shall depart and the hills be removed; hut my kindness shall not depart from thee, neither shall the covenant of My peace be removed, saith the Lord that hath mercy on thee.' (Isaiah 54:10)

"He who stood beside the sorrowing mother at the gate of Nain watches with every mourning one beside the casket. Christ's heart, that loved and pitied, is a heart of unchangeable tenderness." (E.G.White, Desire of Ages. pp.483,319)

The Wounded Healer with His gentle touch of hope is still filled with the same compassion. There is no friend like Him. He who made the widow's heart leap with joy is able to help you also. Wherever you are, speak to Him now in a simple prayer. Tell Him what is on your heart. Speak to Him as you would to a close friend. He can do wonderful things for you even as He did for that widow so long ago.

"I am the resurrection and the life" - Jesus

Faith Matters


Luke 7:11-17