I hit the wall last week. I had a meltdown. Stresses and unresolved (maybe never resolved?) issues and fear of the future immobilized me. I wrote about it in last week’s post: I Hit the Wall Tonight.
I ended up having conversations with two friends and a counselor the day after that helped greatly. (I also got two very encouraging notes via Facebook … you know who you are! Thanks!)
One of these friends (a pastor turned attorney) shared something with me that just sticks.
He reminded me that Jesus shares in my suffering.
It’s easy for me to remember that God is transcendent, that he arranged these circumstances and that they are for my good.
That transforms my mind.
But it’s another thing to remember that He’s also immanent, that He walks alongside of me and suffers as I suffer.
That touches my heart.
Of course, I had to turn this thought over in my mind. I mean, Jesus isn’t technically suffering today, sitting as He does at the right hand of God the Father, but He has suffered for me, not just in a general way, but because of my sin.
And there’s no pain I suffer that compares with the pain He suffered for me. He gets it. He gets pain and rejection. He gets disappointment and fear. He gets suffering.
In any case, I realize that as I feel pain, He isn’t just standing by waiting for me to learn whatever it is He wants me to learn. He is intimately involved. He cares. He is right beside me, not far away. He wants to carry the load with me. He already carried biggest load for me.
We share a yoke.
Last week, I found some scripture about Jesus and my suffering that helped, too (italics mine):
…He was pierced for [my] transgressions,
he was crushed for [my] iniquities;
the punishment that brought [me] peace was upon him,
and by his wounds [I was] healed. Isaiah 53:5
I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in Him… that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings…” Philippians 3:8-11
For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are [and who has suffered in ways we can’t begin to imagine] —yet was without sin. Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. Hebrews 4: 15-16
The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God… if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together. For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.” Romans 8:15-18
I tell you, it really moved me to think that Jesus was right there with me the night I hit the wall.
I need to keep thinking about that.
Dear Lord: I felt like a lost and frightened little child last week. You understood my pain. You heard my cries. You sent friends (by Internet and phone) to encourage me. Help me to relax in your care. Help me to love as you love me. Help me to stop thinking about what will remove the pain only, but to think about Your glory. And to know that in all you are bringing into our lives, in all you are not taking out of our lives (including sin), You are making sure your glory and our good are at the top of the agenda. You suffered to make sure that would be the case. Thanks. And, if you wouldn’t mind removing the pain, that would be helpful, too. Amen.