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Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by him, and afflicted. Isaiah 53:4

It wasn’t enough to watch from heaven. Your car died. Your kids have just told you that they don’t believe in God. You just lost your job. You can’t sing in church anymore. It’s not that the music is bad. In fact you like the music. You just can’t sing the words anymore. They’ve become hollow syllables, empty letters, and meaningless chatter.

You’ve tried to get the feeling back. You’ve prayed. You think about reading the Bible every day. It’s hard to know if it’s your own failure that has driven you to this point, or if it’s the pain that others have inflicted on you. You’ve been scolded one too many times. You’ve been reminded once too often that you’ve failed.

“Is it worth another try?” you ask yourself as you lay on your back staring at the ceiling and hoping that sleep will come soon to give your mind some rest. The same situations keep replaying themselves over and over in your head. What if you’d made a different choice? What if he didn’t hit you that last time? What if you’d told her she couldn’t go to the party? What if…?

The loneliness and despair surround you like the darkness of your night. You hope sleep comes but fear the dawn because you know the problems will still be there and you aren’t sure where you will get the courage and strength to go one more day.

Then a still small voice comes from the dark corners of your troubled mind. It’s a verse…no a phrase really. You don’t remember where it’s from. It was part of a Sunday School lesson years ago. “I’ll never leave you or forsake you.” That was it, right. He’ll never leave. He promised to be with me…always.

As sleep finally begins to creep in the words keep reminding you, consoling you, healing you. It wasn’t enough for him to watch from heaven. It wasn’t enough for him to ‘understand’ your plight. He knew that the best way he could help you was to come to live with you.

Jesus has felt the pain of every broken relationship. He’s cried with you each time you’ve been lied to. He’s worked through the feelings you have had of failure even though he himself never failed.

That’s what grace is about. It’s about the son of God coming to earth to feel your pain. To endure your failures. To feel your loneliness. He did all of this because he loves you and desperately yearns for a relationship with you. Jesus is passionate about you! It wasn’t enough to watch with sympathy from heaven. Jesus loves you so much he came to earth to experience the pain you feel in life.

PRAYER: Dear Jesus. I don’t understand how you, as the Son of God, can feel all the feelings I feel. I don’t understand how you can love someone like me who seems to find new ways to fail every day. I don’t understand it. But I like it! Thank you for understanding me. Thank you for forgiving me. Thank you for loving me so much that you came to earth to show me how to live in the midst of this struggle we call life. Amen.

 

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