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Storyteller. Grace Dweller.

I’m Jennifer — wife of an Iowa farmer, mom to two girls, new book author. I believe in you, because I believe in Jesus. You matter to Him, and you matter to me. more »

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Monday 24th August 2015

The Truth That Could Make All the Difference for You Today

I’ll never forget the first time I read the shortest verse in the New Testament: “Jesus wept.” (John 11:35)

I was in my early 30s, sitting on the couch at a little cabin on an Iowa lake. When I read that Jesus wept, I wept, too — overwhelmed by a Savior who knew what the salt in His tears tasted like.

Yeah, I suppose I had read that tiny sentence — “Jesus wept” — sometime during my Sunday school years, and probably again during the intermittent church attendance of our 20s.

But there’s a different between reading, and reading — the kind of reading that makes your heart bounce around in your chest like rocks in a clothes dryer. That day, I was reading.

Here comes Jesus, a couple days after his dead friend has been buried. A sister meets Jesus outside, and He consoles here.

But then He bursts into tears. He didn’t just cry. He wept. 

I need that kind of Jesus. I need Jesus on the days when my own tears won’t stop. I need a weeping Jesus on the days when my girls cry, or when my best friends cry. I need a weeping Jesus on the days when the brokenness of the world seems too much to bear.

Yes — I need a Jesus who protects. And I need a Jesus who guides. I need a Jesus who rescues me from sin and redeems every mess that could ever be made. I need a Jesus who teaches, befriends and saves.

But I also need a Jesus who weeps.

I don’t know where you’re at today, as the week begins. But I’m guessing that many of you are facing sorrow and heartbreak. Maybe it’s a funeral or a break-up or a misunderstanding with the people you love most.

Maybe you feel like you weep alone — but you don’t. Here’s the truth that could make all the difference for you today, or any day when the hurt spills out from your eyes:

Your tears are wiped away by a Savior who wept His own.

Praying for you today,
Jennifer

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  • Tara Ulrich

    Jennifer, I love this so much. As a woman who cries so easily, the reminder that Jesus weeps reminds me again of Jesus’ humanness. So much THIS: “I need that kind of Jesus. I need Jesus on the days when my own tears won’t stop. I need a weeping Jesus on the days when my girls cry, or when my best friends cry. I need a weeping Jesus on the days when the brokenness of the world seems to much to bear.” I am so thankful that we have a Jesus that saves, but also a Jesus that weeps too! Praying for you as well friend!

  • Oh, how I love that we have a Jesus who weeps with and for us! Thank you for this comforting reminder, Jennifer. Praying for you, too, Jennifer, that you will remember this every time the hurts cause the tears to flow.

  • Kathy

    Your words brought me nearly to tears as I pictured the image of our Savior weeping with me for the division in my family. My youngest sister feels that when I cleaned up my mother’s home with my brother-in-law, I gave away Mom’s things, without her input. She kept all the furniture except for some broken pieces. When I called her from my home in CA to Texas where she lives, she said not to call again. She will not answer calls, texts or letters. I feel she wants to cut me and the other sister out of her family, even telling us to never contact her adult children. I was told it’s better to wait and pray until she responds, never forgetting her and just leaving messages as I’ve done in the past. I know the Lord hates division and this relationship is crumbling. Am I doing the right thing by just treating her as I used to and praying for her? My husband wants me to ask her what is the reason for the way she is. I don’t expect her to answer. Please tell me what you would do. I would appreciate it, as it breaks my heart to be cut off by my own sister! I know that Jesus is weeping as well and understands my grief. This is a comfort to my heart.

    • Jillie

      Hi Kathy. I sure hope Jennifer sees your plea and responds with the wisdom she so often has for these kinds of situations.
      I so hear your heart in this. I had to respond, even just to let you know you’re not alone in this. I too, have had yet another (recent) split in my relationship with my “baby” sister. This is probably the fourth time in as many years. We came from a very dysfunctional, alcoholic home, and both of us have dealt with it in our own way: I choosing the way of God’s Word and prayer, good helpful books, journalling, etc. She with a “therapist” of some 20+ years. We have a pattern: we email and call one another regularly, but, inevitably, I say something to upset her and then she cuts me off. I do not remember much of what she claims happened to her as a child–some stories are just plain outrageous–and when I question them, she immediately becomes defensive, super angry, spewing bitterness and venom all over me. I have reached the point where I just can’t listen to it any more. It’s not healthy for either one of us.
      I don’t want this estrangement between us. Yet, I see no other way. Except for prayer. I truly believe, at this point. there is nothing else that can be done. I find it ironic that I try all other “methods” before “resorting” to letting things lie as they are, and then getting on my knees on her behalf. And I know I am to pray with no doubting, and yet my sister has been this way all. of. her. life. I do doubt things will ever be resolved. I was once advised to stop trying to make her “normal”, (she suffers from mental illness), but instead to accept her just the way she is. That’s a lot harder than it sounds, but I have been trying. So has she, but it still ends with the same results. I find myself now wondering if this last split will be our last split? She has alienated herself from our 3 brothers long ago, and I am the only one she has left who cares a thing about her. I feel helpless, which just might be exactly where God wants me. And so I pray. I must trust Him, leave all the results in His more-than-capable hands. It may “feel” like I’ve given up, but in honesty, praying is the best thing I can do for her, and myself, releasing her to Him and His perfect way and timing.
      I hope this helps, even in some small way, to encourage you today. God sees your heart. He hears your lament for your sister. He weeps with you. And He is, first and foremost, the God who changes hearts. I pray He opens your sister’s eyes, opens her heart, changes her. I pray for your reconciliation with one another somewhere down the road.

      • Kathy

        Thank you for your wise words that the Lord gave you to comfort my heart. I empathize with you as you also struggle with your relationship with your sister. God hates division and I know it has been difficult to deal with someone who has mental issues. I will keep you in prayer that God would change your sister’s heart as well as my sister. It has been difficult as my husband wants to “fix” this situation by speaking to her, which makes it worse. He doesn’t believe prayer can do anything and tells me I’m weak to rely God. Thank you for your counsel and I’ll continue praying…releasing my sister to the Lord and trusting Him to change her heart.

      • Thanks for jumping in here to help a sister, Jillie. I really appreciate you!

    • Hi Kathy,

      I’ve read your heartbreaking comment this afternoon, and am so sorry for all that you are going through. Broken relationships are so, so, so hard — especially when it’s family. I hate to advise too much, as I don’t know all the details, but I’m thinking that the best thing to do right now is to “be still and know that He is God.” Could you send her a letter, to let her know that you are resting in the Lord, and hoping that time might heal the rift between you? And let her know that you’ll be trying to contact her again? I think I would probably, at some point, invite an honest conversation about what went wrong. And for the things that require forgiveness, that both of you would be willing to forgive. And for the things that require confession, that both of you would be willing. That’s so hard — to admit where we’ve done wrong. But perhaps that would be a good step, too. Life is short, and my prayer is that God would repair this relationship. I hope that there’s some snippet of wisdom in here for you.

      Love, Jennifer

    • LC Adams

      Kathy, I feel your pain because I have walked a similar path. Only a handful of days after burying our beloved Mother, I found myself in what can be described as war with my only sister. She mis-heard some things I said. She refused to hear me trying to clarify. She told me to leave her family alone. It was all over money. Stupid money. For months she was downright ugly to me in public. I tried very hard to just love her. At one point early on I said something that was hurtful to her, so I did later go back and apologize. After 9 months things are better…at least on the surface. However, short of a miracle they will never be the same again and that hurts. She is the only living member of my family of origin. I’ve never felt pain like that in my entire life. Some days I wanted to die. I cried every day for a solid 4 months. Jesus was faithful to walk with me through it. Jennifer gave you wise advice. Be still and let God work. He knew about this long before it happened. He never wastes a trial in our life. He will use it for some good purpose in your life, Kathy. Bless you, friend.

  • Beautiful post, Jennifer! Your words are so encouraging! 💞

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