“He became perturbed and deeply troubled… And Jesus wept.”
Merriam-Webster shares that to be perturbed is to be troubled in mind. Oxford Languages states that to be perturbed is to be feeling anxiety or concern.
It was sunny out, but I don’t remember the exact day. I think it was October. It was a weekday and I had just finished up a long meeting at work. I walked a flight of stairs to get the blood flowing and heard my phone buzz again. It was a text from a dear friend. Their baby had a complication and they needed prayers. They were told he would not make it full term and if he did survive that long, he would not survive childbirth.
I became perturbed and deeply troubled, and I wept. I wept the kind of tears that sting your eyes for hours after you’re done crying. I wept angry tears at God for this injustice. I wept in sorrow for my friends. I wept, and I wept and I wept.
“Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.”
My brothers and sisters, Jesus wept for His friend. He became perturbed and deeply troubled at the loss of Lazarus and for Mary and Martha. Jesus grieved this loss with tears, anxiousness and concern. The story tells us that Jesus was perturbed twice before raising His eyes to heaven.
“And Jesus raised His eyes and said, ‘Father, I thank you for hearing me. I know that you always hear me.’”
Martha and Mary did not know why Jesus did not come sooner. Lazarus was dead for four days and there would be a stench if they rolled back the stone. Did the grief overcome His senses? We know the end of the story. We know that God always provides, and that our God is one of mercy, miracles and hope. God gives miracles that are unexplainable and undeniably divine. There is no way that Lazaraus was just asleep, or comatose. Lazarus was four-days-with-a-stench dead. That is, until Jesus instructed him to come out.
St. Augustine said, “God is so good that in His hand, even evil brings about good. He would never have permitted evil to occur if He had not, thanks to His perfect goodness, been able to use it.”
My story did not have the miracle that we prayed for. There was and still is incredible loss felt without our ability to see and hold that little boy. Instead, we are left feeling perturbed and weeping. In my weeping and troubled mind, I invited Jesus in. I knew Jesus was able to connect with my human nature because of His humanity. I suspect that Jesus cried the same kind of tears for Lazarus. In my weeping, I also found comfort that it did not equate to a lack of faith. It was doing as Jesus did. I wept until I was able to raise my eyes to heaven and know that God always hears me, even when my prayer is not answered in the way that I asked for it to be answered.
Jesus’ love and mercy poured out to us through His death and resurrection is our miracle. He hears us. He gives us daily bread to get through the day; even the days of weeping and troubled minds. Our Lord always hears us. In His listening, we gain hope. Hope does not disappoint.