Give your burdens to the Lord, and he will take care of you. He will not permit the godly to slip and fall.
Psalms 55:22 NLT
When Jesus shows up after Lazarus’s passing, He’s met with mourning hearts. Lazarus’ sisters are heartbroken and so are their friends. Now, can you imagine how Martha felt? Grief comes with an array of emotions: guilt, anger, sadness, and sorrow. We don’t know what Martha was feeling at that moment. She could have said, “If only you would’ve been here…” with a tone of anger while gritting her teeth. She could have struggled to get the words out by sobbing and gasping for air, “If… (gasp), only… (gasp), you… (gasp)…,” you get the point.
She could have simply said it emotionless, with a monotone voice, evidence of her feeling numb.
We don’t know fully how she expressed her emotions. However, what we do see clearly is that Jesus responded slowly with love and empathy. Jesus didn’t dismiss her feelings. He didn’t shame her for not having more faith or being more positive. He simply showed up and saw the emotion. So much so, before doing anything, Jesus paused before the tomb where Lazarus was lying and simply wept. This is one of the most human things we see Jesus display in His behavior. He weeps with those who weep. He mourns with those who mourn. He shows up and sees them.
I’ve heard some interpret Jesus’ weeping as an indication that he was sad at their lack of faith. But I do not believe that to be true. Jesus knew the power of empathy. He knew it wasn’t just about raising Lazarus from the dead, it was also about modeling what showing up and seeing others. Jesus modeled for us that it’s ok to cry. It’s ok to be sad and it’s ok to allow others to feel those things too. Our emotions are not an enemy. They are a part of who we are. It’s part of the human experience that God has given us. After all, emotions are just emotions. Feelings are just feelings.
To help others to feel seen, we must see them. To see what they are feeling and acknowledge it. Acknowledging feelings doesn’t mean we have to act on them. Every feeling should be acknowledged, but not every feeling should be acted on.
Keyword here The Godly those who obey him.