It is tempting to view life as a series of unending difficulties. It does not really matter whether a person is rich or poor, young or old, life WILL throw challenges on the road we walk. Even when we fully accept that ‘life is not a bed of roses’, there are still challenges that overwhelm us and make us cry.
One such overwhelming experience is recorded in Luke 7:11-17; the story of the widow of Nain. In this little place, not far from Nazareth, we are told the woman had lost her husband, and now her only son is dead and being carried for burial. We are told in Luke 7:12-13 (NIV) – And a large crowd from the town was with her. When the Lord [Jesus] saw her, his heart went out to her and he said, “Don’t cry.”
How do I keep calm after losing my husband, and now my only son? The widow would likely be angry, depressed, and overwhelmed by her tragedy – so too the large crowd that was with her in tears sharing her pain. Jesus saw this and “his heart went out to her”, he was moved with deep empathy and he changed things.
The story continues in Luke 7:14-16 (NIV) – Then he [Jesus] went up and touched the bier they were carrying him on, and the bearers stood still. He said, “Young man, I say to you, get up!” The dead man sat up and began to talk, and Jesus gave him back to his mother. They were all filled with awe and praised God. “A great prophet has appeared among us,” they said. “God has come to help his people.”
“God has come to help his people” – life can be so overwhelming that our efforts alone is inadequate to see us through, we need our God to also come HELP us out. Husbands, wives, parents, children, and friends are helpers to whom we are grateful, but our God is the sincerest and tireless helper we must have in our lives.
Great God, we can’t go it alone, help us every step of the way, Amen!