I remember the day that we met with the funeral home director to plan Eli's funeral. He asked us that day if we wanted an audio recording of the service. We both thought that was an odd request and declined the offer. Why would we want to go back and listen to one of the most gut wrenching services of our lives? Now, I totally regret not allowing them to audio record the service. His service was one of the sweetest worship services I have ever been a part of. Jamie and I wanted it to be as close to a regular worship service as possible. We wanted congregational singing, special music and preaching. My cousin Beverly coordinated the music, played the piano, and sang the specials for us. Our pastor lead the congregational music and my uncle David spoke. We sang Amazing Grace and What a Friend We Have in Jesus as an entire congregation and it was amazing. Be Still My Soul, Great is Thy Faithfulness, and I Will Carry You were the special songs that were either sang by Beverly or played. The music was wonderful and it ministered to my family so tremendously.
The one thing that I regret not being able to go back and listen to is the message that David presented at Eli's service. God gave David the words to speak that day. He knew the words that we would need to comfort us for some time to come. I am just so sorry that I can not go back and listen to these words from time to time, as I need a reminder. It seems that I remember bits and pieces of the message from time to time.
One part of the message that has been heavily on my mind of late is when David shared from John 11 about Jesus, Mary, Martha, and Lazarus.
When John 11 begins Jesus' friend, whom he loved dearly, was sick. He was deathly sick. Martha and Mary, whom Jesus also loved dearly, sent word to him that Lazarus was sick. They knew that Jesus could heal Lazarus. They knew that if Jesus made it in time, before Lazarus died, that they would not lose their brother. That is why they sent word to Jesus. But the bible tells us that even two days after Jesus received word of Lazerus' illness, he tarried where he was. After two days, he gathered his disciples and went to Bethany, where Lazarus, Martha, and Mary were. By the time that Jesus got to them, Lazarus was dead. Jesus knew he was not living. He knew he would be dead when he arrived. Martha was the first to meet Jesus when he arrived and she told Jesus that had he been there Lazarus would not have died. I do not feel that was a sign of weakness from Martha, but a sign of faith. She knew that Jesus could have spared Lazerus' life. I can not help but feel that she and Mary both were hurt that Jesus did not come right away to spare them from this heartache. In fact Martha is the only one to meet Jesus when he does come. Mary stayed home. She was too distraught to leave her home at first. I know these women never lost their faith in Jesus, but I wonder if they questioned Jesus' reasoning for not coming to Lazarus quickly. I feel like they did. Once Jesus met Martha and told her that Lazarus would live (now remember he is already dead), Martha went in secret to go get Mary. Mary went immediately to where Jesus was and the first thing she did was fall at his feet crying. She also told Jesus that had he been there Lazarus would still be living. She was broken at Jesus' feet. The bible tells us that when Jesus saw this, he groaned in the spirit for his grieving friends. It says in John 11:35 "Jesus wept". Jesus was not weeping for Lazarus. He was weeping for his friends who were hurting. He knew that he was going to raise Lazarus from the dead. He knew that Lazarus would live again. Yet, he still wept. He wept for the people that he loved. The chapter goes on to tell about Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead and how this caused those around to believe on Him, that he is the Son of God. It also goes on to tell how this caused the chief priests and the Pharisees to take council against Jesus.
Well today it has been six months since we said goodbye to our Eli and these are the thoughts I woke up with in my head this morning. I thought about Martha and Mary, and how they must have been so hopeful when they sent that message to Jesus, that he would come immediately and heal Lazarus. I once had hopes of a healing. I once pleaded with God to heal my Eli. Just like He did not heal Lazarus, He did not heal Eli. Like Martha and Mary, I fall at His feet and say, "where were you Lord?" Like with Martha and Mary, I believe that Jesus weeps with me. I believe He does not want us to hurt, to be broken. He loves us and groans in the spirit when we weep. There will be a day when He will wipe my tears from my eyes. There will be a day when I will put my arms around my son and and redemption will take place. No one knows when that day will be, just that IT WILL BE. I wouldn't miss it for anything.