Life often changes when there is a convergence of powerful forces at work—hope and disappointment, joy and sadness, expectation and tragedy. If we aren’t prepared for that change, it has the potential of doing great harm to us.
In this text, we see the convergence of some powerful forces at work in the life of a widow. Jesus and His disciples were coming into a small village, called Nain, and a funeral procession was heading to the cemetery. The circumstances of this funeral prove to be the convergence of some powerful forces.
It was the funeral of a young man—the convergence of death and youth. It’s always sad when death comes to those who’ve only just begun to live. This man preceded his mother in death—the convergence of expectation and harsh reality; the convergence of joy and sorrow. This mother, who had known the joy of watching her son come into the world and had experienced the pride of watching him grow into manhood, now had to endure the pain of seeing him die. Luke says that this was the widow’s only son; there was no one left to care for this woman. Truly she was dealing with some tough realities.
It reminds us that life can change quickly. Things can be going well one moment and everything can be falling apart the next. Without warning, without justification, without provocation, life can change. And sometimes the changes can be hard to cope with.
In the case of this grieving mother, we see the convergence of the power of personal tragedy—Iinescapable and undeniable—with the power of determination. We see someone who’s trying to hold on. She hasn’t become bitter; despite what’s happened to her, she’s trying to bear her burden.
But there’s one more power present in this scene that’s above every other power, and that’s the power of Jesus. When everything else seemed to be gone, no one could rob her of Jesus.
Personal tragedy, in whatever form, is a powerful force to deal with; grief is a powerful force to deal with, sadness is a powerful force to deal with. And determination alone isn’t always enough to overcome personal tragedy. Self-destructive behaviors often occur because determination can’t overcome personal tragedy. But there is another Power available to us—a Power that’s greater than any other power.
Jesus had compassion on this mother. He stopped the funeral procession, walked right up to her, and said, “Don’t cry; wipe the tears from your eyes.” Jesus touched the boy’s casket, and all of a sudden, the boy sat up and began to talk, and Jesus gave him back to his mother.
When we’re coping with life’s converging forces, Jesus will give us what we need if we trust Him.