Sunday, December 16, 2007

Should Not the Heavens Weep?

I couldn't sleep for hours last night. I cried, because so many of the people I love are in such great pain, and I hurt for them. When you love someone, it's impossible not to be affected when they hurt. Even God, who is perfect and omnipotent, can't help but weep when He sees the suffering of His children.
Last night I thought of Enoch's vision of the earth. Moses records:

"And he beheld Satan; and he had a great chain in his hand, and it veiled the whole face of the earth with darkness; and he looked up and laughed, and his angels rejoiced...And it came to pass that the God of heaven looked upon the residue of the people, and he wept; and Enoch bore record of it, saying: How is it that the heavens weep, and shed forth their tears as the rain upon the mountains?
And Enoch said unto the Lord: How is it that thou canst weep, seeing thou art holy, and from all eternity to all eternity? And were it possible that man could number the particles of the earth, yea, millions of earths like this, it would not be a beginning to the number of thy creations...and also thou art just; thou art merciful and kind forever...and naught but peace, justice, and truth is the habitation of thy throne; and mercy shall go before thy face and have no end; how is it thou canst weep?"

Enoch is asking God, essentially, "You're perfect. With your eternal perspective, how can you be sorrowful about a tiny fraction of your innumerable creations?"

God's answer is beautiful. It gives me insight into the character of the God I worship, and the person I should strive to emulate.

"The Lord said unto Enoch: Behold these thy brethren; they are the workmanship of mine own hands, and I gave unto them their knowledge, in the day I created them; and in the Garden of Eden, gave I unto man his agency;
And unto thy brethren have I said, and also given commandment, that they should love one another, and that they should choose me, their Father...and among all the workmanship of mine hands there has not been so great wickedness as among thy brethren....wherefore should not the heavens weep, seeing these shall suffer?"(Moses 7:26-37)

The God we worship cries when we suffer, even when our sufferings are caused by our own poor choices. His love for His children is infinite, even though we are such a tiny part of His creations. His love is great enough that He gave His Son for us, "that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life" (John 3:16).

I bear witness of the reality of that gift of God's Son, of His Atonement, and of its great and transcendent power. I know that His Atonement has power to heal every hurt, every heartache, and every sin. I know that, although the Lord weeps, He has the power to "wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain" (Rev. 21:4).

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