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Rebellion can open the door to many negative and harmful things in our lives including drug abuse, alcoholism, immorality and much more as we become lovers of pleasure, instead of lovers of God. The way to be free of it is to follow Jesus’ example: “Just spit it out—Don’t swallow it!”

Let me take a true story from the Bible, as I see it in my mind’s eye, to illustrate a great sorrow. 2,000 years ago, on a hot, dusty day in the land of Israel, Jesus and his (foot-sore) little band of disciples were traveling on the road to a little town named Nain. They were probably sweaty, tired and not just a little thirsty, but couldn’t wait to get to the town well. However, at the gate to the town, there was a crowd coming toward them, barring the way to the city well.

The disciples may have thought, let’s just hurry on, so we can cool our throats and our feet, but wait a moment, this was no festive crowd. Instead, there was wailing and mourning, and in the midst of all of this there was a most distressed middle-aged woman, sackcloth and ashes her raiment, sobbing softly and uncontrollably. Why? What had happened?

Now I see the cause for the grief … a coffin. In it was a young man in his late teens to early 20’s. He was still and lifeless; the cold pallor of death was on his countenance, the only child of a widow who could not be consoled. Was there any hope for her and the future? First, her husband died, and now, her son was also going down to the grave with no return. What was she to do? She had no one to pour out her love upon, and no one to return love to her. She would never have the opportunity to hold a grandchild on her knees and sing them lullabies. There would be no one to make doll clothes for, no one to pull to her bosom and no one to support her. What was she to do? Life for her was at an end. She was soon to place all of her hopes, dreams and her very life in a hole in the ground … ground that would surely not yield any crop of value for her.

However, something was about to happen. Jesus arrived on the scene. This was not a coincidence, but a God incident. Jesus immediately picks her out of the crowd. Had she been praying? Not to our knowledge, but God always observes our hearts, the hurts, the frailties and the despair.

Jesus looked deeply into her eyes, penetrating even to the depths of her very soul. He lovingly grasps her arm and says, “Don’t cry Momma; don’t cry.” As she stared into His loving eyes, she realized she had never seen eyes quite like His before. Her soul was stirred. What comfort, what love, what hope. His eyes seemed to speak volumes of hope for her future.

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Copyright © 2009 Dr. Gene Smith

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Unless otherwise marked, all Scripture references are taken from the King James Version or the New King James Version of the Holy Bible.

Scripture quotations noted NIV are taken from the Holy Bible New International Version ®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by the International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Bible Publishing Hoise. All rights reserved.