Soon afterwards He went to a city called Nain; and His disciples were going along with Him, accompanied by a large crowd. Now as He approached the gate of the city, a dead man was being carried out, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow; and a sizeable crowd from the city was with her. (Luke 7:11, 12 NASB)
Get this image in your mind. Jesus and a large crowd of people, likely still excited about how He healed the servant of the Roman centurion ( aka the occupying enemy army officer) with just a word, were approaching the city gates of the beautiful city of Nain. They were in high spirits. About that same time, a brokenhearted widow was leaving the beautiful city of Nain with a large crowd of weeping people enroute to bury her only son, who had died. They were in low spirits.
There were no retirement funds in those days, and no Social Security checks. Widows did not have the option to work in the corner factory to make extra money. They might sew or do some sort of handwork to sell, but that was not usually their full income. Women were provided for by their father until they married, then by their husband, then, as a widow, by their sons (in addition to whatever provision their husband had set aside). This grieving widow was not just burying her son, she was burying her security. It likely felt that she was burying her future and her hope, as well.
This is where a breathtaking picture of grace unfolds. The grieving widow, enroute to the burial ground, ran right in to the One who spoke these words, "for I know the plans I have for you, declares The Lord. Plans for welfare and not for calamity, to give you a future and a hope." (Jeremiah 29:11). He would soon demonstrate the reality of that verse for the sad mother.
How beautiful is that? It was not an accident that Jesus arrived at just the right time. When all hope was gone, Jesus was on His way to intervene. Of course, He does not always provide resuscitation for dead loved ones. He does, however, always provide some sort of help for the one who grieves, some sort of hope, some sort of future.
When life and death collide, Jesus always brings victory back into the situation, if we are willing for Him to do so. The problem arises when we are only willing to receive the kind of victory we want, rather than what Jesus offers.
Is there fear of the future, loss of hope, overwhelming grief in your life right now? Turn to the only One who promises to restore both hope and future. Our Lord can, and will, meet every need.
Pray today that those who have lost so much in our area will find their future and hope in Christ alone. Pray, too, that our loved ones will recognize the faithfulness of God and want it for themselves.
Link for last night's post is here: http://leannahollis.blogspot.com/2014/05/friday-night-with-friends.html