“There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under heaven:”
Ecclesiastes 3:1 (NIV)
The context of our verse lists a series of contrasting situations in life. For example we read of “a time to weep and a time to laugh” v. 4. All of us have found such situations in our journey through life. We have mourned the loss of a loved one and we recall funny things they did in the past to make us laugh. So there was a time to laugh with the lost loved one and there was a time to weep over the one who has left us.
As we read the Gospel accounts of Jesus’ life we read of two situations where He wept (Luke 19:41; John 11:35). The first situation that brought tears to Jesus’ eyes was when He crested the hill overlooking Jerusalem. As the city that rejected Him came into view He was overcome with emotion and burst into tears because the citizens of Jerusalem did not accept Him as their Messiah.
In the record of John, describing Jesus weeping, the action of our Lord is contrasted with the “wailing” of the sisters of the deceased Lazarus. They were loud in their weeping and Jesus was quiet as He shed tears in the presence of death.
So we witness times appropriate for weeping in Jesus’ life. He certainly knew how to weep with those who weep (Romans 12:15). We do not have a Saviour Who is a stranger to our emotions and our times of sorrow (Hebrews 4:15). Therefore we can come to Him confidently knowing His understanding of our sorrow and struggles.
What is unusual in the life stories of Jesus is that nowhere is it recorded that He laughed. Certainly He celebrated with people (Matthew 11:18-19; John 2:1-11). In fact He contrasted His behaviour in society with His cousin John the Baptist. John only came to town when he was going to preach. Otherwise he lived in the wilderness. Jesus said that He partied with people.
In life we should recognize the presence of Jesus in both exceptional situations. When we celebrate, He is the unseen Guest at the party. When we are weeping, He draws near to strengthen, to comfort, and to bless.
Jesus is portrayed in Scripture as the Saviour Who is near His people at all times and in all places. This reality is what gives me confidence to represent Him at the wedding feasts, the celebration of the birth of a child, and also in the home of mourning. Jesus came to bring joy to the hearts of His people (John 15:11), and to weep with those who weep (John 11:33-36).
Wherever you are in life Christian, know this, Jesus is travelling alongside you always. He has promised to stay with you regardless of life’s challenges (Hebrews 13:5). His desire is to make you ready for anything life brings to you. He will laugh with you and weep with you. Jesus partied and suffered when He was among us. Invite Him to your celebrations and cry out to Him in your sorrows. He is the Saviour for all seasons in life.