When the Lord saw her, He felt compassion for her, and said to her, ‘Do not weep.’
– Luke 7:13
The widow shuffled behind the men who carried the body of her only son.
Despair gripped every line of her face. Her thin shoulders sagged under the weight of a life without hope.
Gone were the desperate prayers for God’s healing. Silenced were the frantic petitions, the faith in deliverance, the hope God would rescue them. There was only the sound of shuffling feet and a mother’s soft sobs as the procession made its way to the burial grounds.
Near the gate of the city, they encountered a group of people. A man in rough clothing emerged from the crowd and approached the woman.
She stiffened at this invasion of her grief. What did he want?
It was His voice that captured her attention. He only spoke a few words, but they stirred an undefinable longing in her soul.
“Do not weep.”
Do not weep? Was he blind? It was long past time for hope. There was nothing left but to grieve.
Then the man touched the coffin. According to Jewish law, the mere act would make him ceremonially impure for a time. He didn’t seem to care.
The next moment, it didn’t matter.
The dead man sat up and spoke.
In a single moment, life leapt from the grave. A man’s life was restored. A woman’s joy was resurrected. It had nothing to do with her faith or her good deeds. It was not because she said the right words or believed in a miracle.
It was, we are told, because the Lord Jesus Christ had compassion on her. He was touched by her grief, moved by her sorrow. In her moment of greatest loss, in an hour all hope was gone, God revealed His life-giving power.
Little did she know Jesus would soon be the son carried to the tomb, His own mother the grieving widow.
No one understood He was the Son born to die for their sins. He would not only rise from the dead under His own power, but He would break the hold of death forever for those who love Him.
When we encounter crushing trials, it’s tempting to believe we can call down a miracle if we incant the right prayers, keep a positive confession, or impress God with our faith. The truth is God can’t be manipulated. When He doesn’t answer a prayer in the way we want, it isn’t because we haven’t said the right words.
It’s because He’s God. He is sovereign Lord. His goal is our highest good. He often appears to leave us alone in our sorrows, only to come with power in an hour we are most broken, most lost, most hopeless. Along the way He has purified our motives, torn down our pride, and taught us the priceless lesson of trust.
You may be standing at the grave of something or someone very precious. Take heart. The Lord Jesus is here. He sees your heartache. He’s the God of compassion.