“Not long after that, Jesus went to the village Nain. His disciples were with him, along with quite a large crowd. As they approached the village gate, they met a funeral procession—a woman’s only son was being carried out for burial. And the mother was a widow. When Jesus saw her, his heart broke. He said to her, ‘Don’t cry.’ Then he went over and touched the coffin. The pallbearers stopped. He said, ‘Young man, I tell you: Get up.’ The dead son sat up and began talking. Jesus presented him to his mother.

They all realized they were in a place of holy mystery, that God was at work among them. They were quietly worshipful—and then noisily grateful, calling out among themselves, ‘God is back, looking to the needs of his people!’ The news of Jesus spread all through the country.” Luke 7:11-17 (MSG)


As Jesus was coming into Nain, he was met by a difficult situation. The tears and heartache of the people would have been undeniable. This mother was having to bury her son. The pain and grief she was experiencing would have been heart wrenching. Not only were they mourning the loss of a person in the community, this impacted the woman’s entire future. She had no husband, and there was no government aided retirement plan. Your sons were the ones who would care for you in your old age. The loss of her only son had financial and life implications. When Jesus saw the grief that this woman was experiencing, he had compassion. He knew that he was able to turn this situation around. Jesus stepped into the funeral procession and stopped it. Immediately, the son responded to Jesus and was raised from the dead. The people were in awe. In the Message version of this passage, it refers to this as “a place of holy mystery.” Jesus was known for many things, but these people learned something new that day. They came to realize that there was more to Jesus than they would ever know. Some may have wondered why Jesus let the son die in the first place. God’s power was displayed by this woman walking through difficulty. The questions of “how” and “why” would linger, unexplained. However, in their inability to understand it all, they were able to recognize that God was doing something unique in their midst. God was present. His power was not limited by human constraints. While Jesus redeemed the situation, the widow had no idea that they would encounter him on the way to bury her son. Yet, Jesus’ presence during a difficult situation is a reminder that he doesn’t turn away when difficulty comes our way.

In our lives, we can face situations that we don’t understand. We don’t understand why that family member wasn’t healed on this side of heaven. We don’t understand why we were passed over for a promotion. We don’t understand why we face hard things. In the midst of difficulty, Jesus is present and working. Even while God is working, sometimes we face things that resemble “a place of holy mystery” where we experience God working but can’t explain it all. As we grow in our faith, we come to understand that the more we know about God, the more there is to know. We can want our Christian lives of following Jesus to fit neatly in a box. We can want organized faith where we understand and explain everything. Yet, the element of faith allows us to step into an unknown adventure with a known God. While we see Jesus’ compassion, power, and presence in this widow’s life, we can also see an unexpected outcome. The widow could not have planned or strategized for Jesus to intervene in this way. Jesus will show up in your situations, and his answer may come as a surprise. One thing we can be confident in is God’s presence in the midst of difficulties. Whether He acts suddenly or walks with us through it, His presence will not only change our circumstances, it will change our lives.

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About Hona Amer

I help people live life to the fullest. Check out my book, Smart Work U. Follow me on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram. In order to receive updates, subscribe below.

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