Today: Let Jesus join you in your suffering
Don’t suffer alone. Suffer with Christ.
And as you see others who suffer, be there for them. Don’t worry that you can’t fix things. Just be with them, as Christ with you.
He was despised and rejected—
a man of sorrows, acquainted with deepest grief.
At noon, darkness fell across the whole land until three o’clock. Then at three o’clock Jesus called out with a loud voice, “My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?”
This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same testings we do, yet he did not sin. So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.
I once had the difficult task of performing a funeral for a friend who had committed suicide. His marriage had hit the rocks. In the end, the pain was too much for him.
What are you supposed to say at a time like that? I remember thinking very carefully through all the theological angles. I thought I did a pretty good job of honoring my friend and saying all the right things.
After the service, God humbled me by a comment made by my friend’s father. He said, “People don’t remember what you said. They just remember you were there.”
All my carefully crafted words didn’t amount to a hill of beans. What mattered is that I was there, weeping with those who weep. There are many questions we can’t answer in this life. But you can most certainly be present with others in their suffering.
When it comes to God, it’s easy to shut him out when you are in pain. Like me, you may be tempted to blame him for what went wrong. You may find the fact that there is no explanation for your suffering so maddening that you give God the silent treatment. Don’t.
The reason God allows suffering in this world is beyond human comprehension. What is not beyond human comprehension is God with us in it. On that point the cross is the end of the discussion.