The Grief of John 3:16

For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him should never die but have eternal life.

How much grief did God go through when He sent His most prized possession to save us?

John 3:16 is quoted a lot around Christmas time, with good reason; it highlights the whole meaning of the season–celebrating the birth of the One who redeems us from our sins. We should be happy; should be enjoying this time with family and friends; should be celebrating the One who changed the world forever.

But for some reason, this year, I’m not feeling it. And I know I’m not alone in this. I have friends who are experiencing the death of a loved one, the end of a marriage, the loss of a job. There are so many of us who are hurting this Christmas, grieving this Christmas. Is there room in this joyful holiday for grief, hurt, and sadness?

Because this week I’ve shed more tears than I have in the last ten years, and I know they’re going to keep coming. I’m working through trauma, wading through acceptance, acknowledging that I was the girl on the bathroom floor being raped by five guys because I said ‘no.’ I’m grieving the loss of the child that I lost a month after being raped, even though I was only a baby myself. I’m grieving the loss of my innocence, my youth, the ten years I spent hiding from my feelings. I’m grieving what I did to myself as punishment for things that are not my fault.

But most of all, I’m grieving the fact that I hurt this much–that we, as humans, are capable of hurting this much.

Do you think God grieved when He sent His only son into the world? Do you think He grieved because He knew what was going to happen to this baby?

Do you think He grieves with us because He knows what’s going to happen in our lives?

I’m not a theologian or an expert in grief. I’m not much of anything, really. But I have become acutely aware of the very human side of God lately.

For God so loved the world that He gave His One and only Son. . . 

He wept. 

He cried out on the cross, my God my God, why have you forsaken me?

So how much more does He hurt with us, does He sit with us in our pain and hold us?

God grieves with us because He knows what it’s like to grieve. He knows what it’s like to be angry, to be pleased. He knows what it’s like to be discouraged and forsaken.

He knows the mistakes we’re going to make in our lives before we’re even born. And still He sent His son. He knows what will be done to us, and He walks with us through it. He grieves with us as we grieve, hurts as we hurt.

And He sent His Son into the world so that we can have healing and peace.

Healing, peace, and a Merry Christmas.

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