Tag Archives: suffering

Parents, Don’t Hurry the Hurt

I don’t know a parent out there who doesn’t hurt bad when their child hurts. That’s part of being a parent. But as badly as I want to take the hurt from my child and wish it could be only all on me, we must not rush in to fix; to hurry the hurt. To see what I mean and why, follow me today over to Rooted Ministry where I share a revamped past article from here…. click for article.

Mary, How Did You Feel?

You’ve heard the Christmas song, “Mary, Did You Know?” What I’ve been thinking about is: Mary, how did you feel? Knowing when my kids are struggling, their suffering is mine I can only imagine what it must have been like for her son to be God’s suffering servant. She had to have felt all alone, so if I could I’ld ask her…

Did you lie awake at night each time your Son was ridiculed? 

Did you feel rejected in the same way he was?

Did you want to take revenge against those who mocked him?

Did you suffer silently because who could possibly understand?

Did you pray, as your Son did, that God would let his cup could pass before him?  

Did you question God’s plan for you and your Son?

I imagine Mary felt as I do that the pain of childbirth only begins after labor ends. Because the real pain of childbirth comes with the loving a child so much that their hurt hurts you so deeply that you would do anything to absorb it only to realize as the years go by you can’t. That pain keeps you up at night, as any parent knows.

But if bearing the burdens of my tribe feels like the weight of the world to me, what must it have been like for Jesus? He really did have the weight of the world on his shoulders. All of the sin, suffering and trials of all of God’s children from all time.

I’ve tended to gloss over this reality as if it’s not that big of a deal since he’s God. But as a man, he fully felt every emotions as we do. Let that sink in. No wonder he was called the Man of Sorrows.

But this crushing truth is a huge reason why God sent his Son in the form of man. There was no other way he would have been able to identify with us in our pain and enter in to it. And because he does we have someone who understands completely our suffering and pain.

So for Jesus it wasn’t just that suffering surrounded his death, it characterized his entire life. But we are told he thought nothing of the shame of the cross because of the joy set before him (Hebrews 12:2), and I imagine he felt the same about carrying our grief and sorrows. Not that it was nothing, but that the cost of bearing it was nothing in comparison to the relationship he was securing between the Father and his children.

I wonder if Mary was able to find rest in this perspective? Or, was she like me and couldn’t escape the worry even when Jesus told her not to fear? How hard it must have been to know she couldn’t bear his burdens, but that she must let him bear hers.

Even harder to compute is God the Father’s love for his children is so great that he cast everything onto his Son and turned his back to him. And if “he who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will be not also with him graciously give us all things (Rom. 8:32)?”

I believe this is true, but probably like Mary need his help to rest in it.

Peace in the Pain by His Presence

I love this picture. Just look at the girl’s smile. Can you imagine laying there in a hospital bed and into the room walks Queen Elizabeth?

The Queen’s presence didn’t take away the suffering she is experiencing as a victim of the Manchester terrorist attack, but don’t you know in that moment it was a little lessened? All of the pain, the questions and anger, for a time set aside as the girl and her mom are filled with delight by this unexpected guest.

It’s a beautiful picture of who Jesus is for us. In the midst of our pain and suffering, the sin and sadness of this world he shows up. But unlike any human, he knows exactly what it is like to experience everything we go through.

As written in a chapter of my new book*, in order for Jesus to bring salvation to the world he had to become the pefect sacrifice. But do you know how he was made perfect? Through suffering! Not just on the cross, but his entire earthly life.

Therefore, he knows what it’s like to experience all the emotions that we do. He was mistreated,  mocked, dismissed, ignored, gossiped about, persecuted, rejected, hurt by those he loved. He felt anger, sadness and loneliness. And he begged the Father to do it another way (“let his cup pass before me”), but there was no other way to atone for our sins and to make us sons and daughters of the King.

So Jesus did what was necessary and because he did, he not only is able to make the great identity exchange with us but he can identify with us and draw near. His presence is not always as visible as Queen Elizabeth standing three feet from the girl’s bedside. But throughout Scripture we read verses like these reminding us that he is near:

“The LORD is near to the brokenhearted And saves those who are crushed in spirit (Psalm 34:18).”

“The LORD is near to all who call upon Him, To all who call upon Him in truth (Psalm 145:18).”

“(for the Law made nothing perfect), and on the other hand there is a bringing in of a better hope, through which we draw near to God (Hebrews 7:19).”

Jesus is that better hope. And because of him we are never without hope. Things now are not how they should be and until all things are made new, we will suffer. But he doesn’t leave us to navigate the brokenness of this world alone. No matter what our suffering -because of nothing of our own doing (what seems unfair) or because of all of our doing (our sin) – he meets us with grace.

By this grace, when we are met by his presence (like the girl with Queen Elizabeth) even for just a moment all of our worries, burdens, hurts and pain are lessened. He comes to break through the darkness and gives himself – our perfect peace.

Now Lord Jesus, help us to believe better and to know this is true.

Come, ye sinners, poor and needy
Weak and wounded, sick and sore
Jesus ready, stands to save you
Full of pity, love and power

I will arise and go to Jesus
He will embrace me in His arms
In the arms of my dear Savior
Oh, there are ten thousand charms

Come, ye thirsty, come and welcome
God’s free bounty glorify
True belief and true repentance
Every grace that brings you nigh

Come, ye weary, heavy-laden
Lost and ruined by the fall
If you tarry ’til you’re better
You will never come at all

I will arise and go to Jesus
He will embrace me in His arms
In the arms of my dear Savior
Oh, there are ten thousand charms

Feel Him Prostate in the garden
On the ground your Maker lies
On the bloody tree, behold him
Sinner, will this not suffice?

Lo, the incarnate God ascended
Pleads the merit of his blood
Venture on him, venture wholly
Let no other trust intrude

I will arise and go to Jesus
He will embrace me in His arms
In the arms of my dear Savior
In the arms of my dear Savior
In the arms of my dear Savior
Oh, there are ten thousand charms

*Face Time comes out on May 29th. To order your copy, click here.