One of the reasons grief is such a difficult process is that no matter what the loss, be it a person or thing, it makes a difference in our lives. When we lose someone we love in a relationship that meant something to us, it hurts. There is a void, and things are just not the same. Like the people we see, the things that we touch, and the relationships we feel make a difference, Jesus also makes the difference.
Even though we have everything, many of us are feeling empty because, at the end of the day, what makes the difference is Jesus. There are witnesses to the fact that after inviting Jesus into their lives, he made the difference in everything. In the good and bad times, Jesus makes the difference. One of the familiar stories leading up to Jesus’ death is the resurrection of Lazarus.
John recalls Mary and Martha as they wept over the death of their brother, Lazarus. When Jesus finally showed up, Mary, upset with Jesus, let him know that this would not have happened had he been there. Mary was upset because she knew that Jesus could make the difference. Of course, we know the rest of the story. Jesus had every intention of raising Lazarus from the dead. He did it to show Mary and Martha (and us today) that he is just not able to make small differences, but also big differences. When we have Jesus in our lives, he provides us with love, strength, and the help we need to move beyond hurt, death, and other painful situations that chip away at our lives. Like with Lazarus, Jesus may appear to be MIA. But the truth is he is there. If we believe in him, he will make himself known and make the difference.
Even in our times of joy and peace, Jesus makes the difference. Because the truth is, the source of our joy and peace is Jesus. This is why he makes the difference. When we are feeling like someone or something is missing, and things are dying all around us, remember that Jesus will make the difference. Jesus is the difference between laughing and crying. Jesus is the difference between walking on faith and living in fear. Jesus is the difference between being negative and thinking positively. Jesus is the difference between night and day.
Just as he showed Mary and Martha, Jesus is the difference between life and death. As he told the sisters: “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?” (John 11:25-26) If we are willing to allow him to make a difference in our lives and believe in his power, we will be able to testify. Jesus makes the difference!