The Shortest Verse of the Bible

Emotions are such a powerful thing.  I strive extremely hard to keep mine in check, but once they start to take over, I’m done for.  This past week, I finally broke.  It was our last week of school, which meant a multitude of things.  First, an overwhelming list of things that had to be done, and had to be done right then.  Second, it meant saying goodbye to some very special students… my first elementary class at LCA was “graduating,” moving on to different schools.  I also had a couple of amazing kids in my class who are not returning next year, so it was sad to see them all move on.  In addition, the end of the year meant other changes… parting ways with our administrator and waiting for a new one, no longer teaching third grade, moving classrooms, my daughter moving into second grade (yikes!), other staff members leaving the school… a lot to take in all at one time.

It was proving to be a bit stressful… then we added my husband being out of town for work, some other family stresses, end-of-the-year programs, unexpected ball practices when Rae made the All-Star team, and my husband getting the call from the Air Force Reserves that they found a job for him so he needed to think about getting sworn in sooner than expected.  By the end of the week, my emotions could not take anymore, and the dam broke.  Much to my dismay, the tears came and my emotions took over.

I am not a fan of weeping… now, I am one of those that cries at movies and tv shows and what-not, but I do not like to show personal emotion.  I am what I consider an empathetic crier.  I shed tears for others, but I do not like to cry over my own stuff.  Therefore I was really frustrated with myself for becoming so emotional.  However, as I turned my emotional distress over to God, I found great comfort in these words: “Jesus wept.”

At school, my students always get a kick out of this verse, not because of the fact that Jesus shed tears, or due to the story behind that verse, but because it is the shortest verse in the Bible.  It’s always the first verse the students brag about memorizing, and it’s one that I hear repeated over and over again throughout the school year.  However, in the pit I found myself buried in, I found this tiny verse a source of encouragement and hope.

In John 11, we find the story of Lazarus.  Lazarus had grown deathly ill, and his sisters, Mary and Martha, sent for Jesus.  They had incredible faith that Jesus alone could heal their brother.  However, Jesus did not immediately come to their home.  When He eventually made His way to see them, Lazarus had been deceased, “in the tomb for four days.”  Mary and Martha were grief-stricken, and surely felt emotions such as anger, frustration, and discouragement.  However, they still held hope that Christ alone could remedy the situation.

Mary fell at the feet of Jesus, overcome with emotion… at the sight of her pain and grief, Christ Himself was “deeply moved in spirit and troubled.”  It was at that moment that we find the shortest verse in the Bible… “Jesus wept.”  He felt the pain of His followers, and He was grieved.  The Son of God took time to cry, to weep, to experience emotion.  However, He did not allow the emotions to triumph… they came and went, and He went on to perform a great miracle- He brought Lazarus back from the grave.

What a lesson for me… rather than let my emotions conquer me completely, I should allow myself to experience them, but then move on to the great victory He has in store for me.  He has ultimately overcome the enemy, and there is no reason for me to live a life of defeat.  Emotions are okay, and they are a part of life, but they don’t have to control who we are, praise the Lord!

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