Last week we looked at the Prophet’s Widow. This week on All God’s Women we look at the Widow of Nain, another worn out and weary woman in the Bible. We find her story in Luke chapter 7.
The Widow of Nain’s Story
The Widow of Nain was blessed to have a son old enough to provide for her when her husband died. Together, they’d worked through their grief, depending on each other to get them through the difficult times. But then her son, her only child, died, and she was left with no one.
Tears poured down her face during the funeral. Though a crowd of mourners thronged around her, she paid them no heed. She followed behind the coffin, through the city streets, out the city gates, and towards the burial grounds. Any hope she’d had for her future had departed with the death of her son. Her sorrow was more than she could bear.
As the funeral procession made its way out the city gates, another crowd was waiting to enter. Leading that group was Jesus. He witnessed what was happening and felt compassion on the grieving widow.
He told her not to cry. Then He walked over and touched the open coffin. Everyone grew silent. The pall bearers stopped, wondering what was going on as Jesus said, “Young man, I say to you, arise.”
And just like that, the young man sat up and began to speak. Jesus presented him back to his mother, and a sense of awe swept over the funeral crowd.
The Widow of Nain’s Situation
There was no lack of people dying during Jesus’ days, but don’t you love that Jesus chose the only son of an obscure widow woman to be His first resurrection miracle?
The widow of Nain didn’t seek Jesus in her time of need. She likely didn’t feel worthy. Who was she to expect Him to come to her when so many other more deserving individuals were clamoring for His attention? Besides, it was too late for Him to do anything even if He cared. Her son was already dead.
But God saw the widow’s need. Though she was blessed with many friends who were there for her, Jesus knew that without a husband or son to support her, she would be alone and without a means of support. So Jesus performed a miracle.
I love this story because it demonstrates God as El Roi, the God Who Sees.
It was no accident that Jesus planned His entrance into Nain to coincide with the funeral of the widow woman’s son. It was all carefully orchestrated.
Had Jesus come to the city of Nain earlier, their paths would not have crossed. Had He come later, the son would have already been buried.
As it was, He carefully planned it so that He and His disciples and a crowd of followers were entering the city gates at the same time the funeral procession was exiting the gates and making their way to the burial grounds.
Here we see another example of God’s attention to detail. This was no small gathering. Verse 11 says that many of Jesus’s disciples and a large crowd was with Him. Verse 12 tells us that a large crowd from the city was with the widow. Some of these may have had no idea who Jesus was. Others probably thought He was a mere teacher or religious leader. None of them could have possibly foreseen what was about to happen. But all of them saw for themselves the amazing power that Jesus possessed when He raised the Widow of Nain’s son from the dead.
By this time Jesus had performed many miracles, but this was His first resurrection. The Jews had heard of prophets of old bringing the dead to life, but none of those people had ever witnessed such a thing.
Verses 16-17 tell us, “Then fear came upon all, and they glorified God, saying, ‘A great prophet has risen up among us’; and, ‘God has visited His people.’ And this report about Him went throughout all Judea and all the surrounding region.” (NKJV)
When we’re going through difficult times, it’s easy to to feel alone and unworthy. Though we may be surrounded by family and friends, they don’t always understand what we’re going through. We don’t understand what we’re going through. How could they? It doesn’t make sense. Why would God allow these things to happen to us?
But God’s ways are not our ways.
He allows us to hit rock bottom so that we’ll look up and see Him reaching down and lifting us up.
The widow of Nain had to lose her husband and then her son in order to discover how important she was to God. Had her son not died, she would have never had that one-on-one time with Jesus nor experienced the amazement and joy of watching Him take the son who was dead and restore him to life. Every time she saw her son after that, she’d be reminded of God’s overwhelming love for her.
Isaiah 40:29 reminds us, “He gives strength to the weary and strengthens the powerless.” (HCSB)
If you’re feeling worn out and weary, please know, we all go through times when life just piles onto us, overwhelming us with grief, responsibilities, discouragement, or all of the above.
But the God who sees, sees you. He feels your pain. He loves you. He is there for you during your darkest days and will lift you out of that pain and into great joy.
Lord God, thank You for seeing us, for being with us, for loving us, and for showing your tender mercy and compassion on us. Thank You for taking us through the dark days so that we might fully appreciate the light. Lord, I ask a special prayer today for those women who are worn out and weary, who are struggling to survive, and who need a reminder that they’re not alone. Lord, reveal Yourself to them in a mighty way. Wrap Your arms around them. Comfort them. Fill them with Your love. Forgive us those times we lose sight of you. Thank You that though we may drift away, You never let us out of your sight. We love You so very much. In Christ’s name we pray. Amen.
Tune in next week when we continue with our Worn Out Women series with Hagar.
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