The morning sun had not even come over the horizon. It was chilly in the house after a night of cold wind hitting the windows of our bedroom. I was cocooned under the covers, trying to stay warm and asleep as my husband wearily was preparing for his departure.
My husband has been blessed with a wonderful, fulfilling career.
Through the years he has always traveled some. Some years more than others.
We have been prepared for this year to be a more year.
He gathered his carry on and briefcase and quietly kissed me. I wrapped my arms around him and prayed over his travels, his safety and thanking God for the man, father and husband that he has become.
He then prayed over me, my days with the children, our schooling, our safety as he is away.
He kissed me once more, quietly went upstairs and kissed the big kids and told them to go back to sleep and then he went out into the cold of the day and headed to the airport.
I tried to fall back asleep.
In the pit of my stomach, the prick of my heart...I got lonely.
It's not that I already missed him, though I did. I felt a sort of emptiness, mixed with fear and sudden longing.
I woke up lonely.
I have been traveling husband's wife many times. We've done this often. But it's still hard.
I tell my husband I can totally handle his being gone.
I am thankful to have many family and friends nearby who I can call on for any reason.
Usually, the kids and I have a wonderful time and its nice to have the remote to yourself once in a while and to stay up watching a chick flick you haven't seen.
I still get lonely. That numbing pang of loneliness is always there.
I want my husband to be able to trust that I can handle whatever happens while he is away.
I don't want him to worry about anything while he is sacrificing his time away from us and providing for us.
I don't want him to worry about my feeling sad or lonely.
There are many times when that feeling isn't as prominent.
Today it's strong.
As I was driving my daughter to ballet this morning, I was crying, praying for strength, for that sadness to go away; asking God why I feel this way and trying to overcome it with scripture and prayer.
I know for me it comes down to trust.
Trusting God that He is taking care of my loves and myself no matter where we are.
I know it also has to do with the fear of the "What if's" that I battle and continually have to "cast out."
Jesus understands what it is like to be lonely.
He understands how it feels to be alone and missing someone.
This morning I read the story of Lazarus and how Jesus wept for his dear friend.
We know Jesus probably spent a lot of time with this friend.
We see accounts of his staying and eating with Lazarus and his sisters. And when know the famous verse of when Jesus hears that Lazarus has died and He weeps for his friend.
I think at that point, Jesus is overwhelmed with grief and loneliness.
Yes, he had his disciples and he was surrounded by people constantly, but Lazarus was different.
He loved his disciples, but they were his students, his children in many ways.
He was teaching them and disciplining them and molding them.
He had only been with his disciples for about 3 years.
It seems to me that He and Lazarus probably went way back.
Lazarus was, in my opinion, almost an equal. Not an equal to God made man of course, but an equal as simply a man. I think that when Jesus heard of his friend dying, that prick of loneliness hurt his heart.
Jesus knows how hard it is to feel lonely.
Jesus know how long the days can be when your husband is traveling or working many late hours and you are home alone for much of the day with your young kids trying to just get through the day.
He knows how lonely life is when your husband is perhaps not a believer and you go to church by yourself each Sunday.
He knows how lonely it can be when your children are sick and you are the only one who can care for them the way they need to be cared for and all you want is someone to breathe for you.
He knows how lonely it can be when you have a rebellious teenager and you aren't sure what to do or who to talk to or how to get through this scary phase.
He knows how lonely life can be when you and your husband just aren't connecting like before and though you are sleeping in the same bed, the man next to you seems so far away.
He knows how lonely life can be when life suddenly changes and plans aren't falling into place.
Jesus weeps because he feels alone in this world.
When Martha hears Jesus is coming, she runs to meet Him and in confidence says, "If you would have been here, I know He wouldn't have died."
She knew Jesus could heal her brother. She knew He had supernatural power.
She knew He could take away whatever disease that brought him to his death.
She didn't know Jesus could raise him from the dead.
Lazarus had been dead for 4 days.
His body was already decaying...perhaps even being eaten by maggots, his hair and nails growing long from dying and dead cells, his body turning back to dust.
Martha didn't know Jesus could completely restore his body...his flesh...his heart and turn back what natural decay and time could do.
That's exactly what Jesus did.
He completely restored and brought death back to life.
His bringing Lazarus back from death to life was a symbol of what was going to happen to Him and essentially, what He would do for all of us.
Martha was stuck on the "if..."
If you were here Jesus...If you were real Jesus...if only you could do all these things in my life.
But Jesus says, "I AM the way, the Truth and the LIFE."
Jesus see's past the grave.
Jesus can restore the emptiness of the tomb you are in and bring forth life.
He can bring forth life into your marriage.
He can bring forth life into you children.
He can heal your diseases.
He can bring forth life into your soul and into your day, you week, your year.
He IS Life.
No matter what you are facing today, Jesus can raise the dead to life.
He can restore the decay of life and call you out of the darkness to see the light of the Son.
Jesus can take the loneliness, the despair, the hurt, the pain, the suffering and He can bring forth life and joy and peace and hope.
What are you facing today that is making it hard to see past the grave? Ask Jesus to bring forth life into whatever it is that you need brought out of decay.