16 Mar He Chose to Weep (Forty Days with Jesus – Day 3, Feb 19th
Read John 11:28-36
Thought for the Day: Strong and brave people still cry!
Fred Rogers was troubled by many of the messages children learned from the mainstream TV of his day. One that he particularly sought to change was the notion that ‘crying is a sign of weakness’. As a committed follower of Jesus, Mister Rogers knew that this was simply untrue. Expressing emotions with honesty is not a sign of weakness, instead it shows strength. As he said, “Real brave and strong people are able to cry when things are hard. But the one thing they don’t do is give up.” Throughout the decades Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood aired, characters like Daniel Striped Tiger and X the Owl reminded children that crying is one way we show our love for others.
After their brother Lazarus had died, Mary and Martha were filled with sadness and wept. When Jesus arrived, He could have asked them to calm down so He could sort things out. Instead, He did something really amazing: “Jesus wept.” At the sight of this, the people were taken aback by how much He genuinely loved and cared for Lazarus. It amazed them. After all, Jesus certainly appeared to be a busy guy. Over the course of His ministry, he interacted with thousands (including those in positions of power and authority). But instead of ‘putting on a brave face’ for the sake of the crowd, Jesus showed His love by taking the time to weep.
Just as Jesus chose to weep, we too are called to be honest at the times when our love for others leaves us feeling sad. Too often, the instinct to ‘put on a brave face’ can act as a barrier and keep us from acting in a loving way. As followers of Jesus, let’s remember that just as He chose to weep with His friends, we are called to be genuine and even cry sometimes!
Reflect & Pray – Today, am I willing to be honest about my feelings with the people God has placed in my life? Am I willing to genuinely express love for my friends? God, please give me the strength to be honest about my emotions!
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