My husband is a nurse and is working in the pediatric ER tonight. I text him to let him know I’m awake, and I check to see how his shift is going. He texts me back to tell me that he has had a stressful shift. He has been caring for a month-old baby with meningitis. The thought of that makes me cringe. It’s so serious. This little baby may not live through this. I utter a prayer for the sweet bundle and ask God for a miracle recovery for him. I think of his parents and what they must be going through.
This kind of scenario is nothing new for my husband or me, since we both work in medicine. I think about my last few shifts at the hospital. Not only two weeks ago, I did a consult on a lady who presented to the ER with two weeks of shortness of breath. During her work up, she was found to have metastatic cancer. Within a week, she passed away in the hospital.
I look over at the Christmas tree lights again. I imagine the sadness, heartache, and pain that so many people experience in this life. Sometimes it’s hard to see this season as one of joy; because even in this season, bad things happen, sad things happen, and heartbreaking moments still occur. It’s during these times that I have to remind myself that, despite any painful event in this life, we still have hope—in Jesus.
Jesus understands our sorrow. He lived here on earth as a human for 33 years, and he felt the same emotions we feel. When Lazarus died, Jesus cried. John 11:35 says, “Jesus wept.” He wept because he was sad to see Lazarus’ sisters, Mary and Martha grieving. Even though he knew he would raise Lazarus from the dead, he was moved by the pain that his friends were experiencing. It hurt him to see them hurting. He hurts when we hurt.
When Jesus was to be crucified, he felt intense sorrow as he spoke to his disciples. Matthew 26:38 says, “Then he said to them, ‘My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here with me and keep watch with me.’” Jesus knows what it feels like to be overwhelmed with sorrow. He is able to understand what we go through. He feels our pain, sorrow, heartache, and disappointment with us. Sometimes I imagine that He even cries with us.
Revelation 21:4 says, “He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” There is a life after this one. It’s one without pain, sorrow, heartache, disappointment, discouragement, or hopelessness. Through Jesus, God has promised us wholeness, joy, life, and victory.
So, as I sit here by the Christmas tree, awaiting the expected joy of the season, though not feeling it, I remember God’s promises through Jesus. I remember that this is just another season in this life. I remember that every season in heaven will bring joy. So I smile as I stare at the big red ornaments on the tree, knowing how much our Father cares for us.