I have heard many believers share how they know God understands all that they experience–chronic pain included. But it takes a brave person who steps away from the expected “appropriate questions” and admits those feelings of “How does Jesus really understand chronic illness? He didn’t experience ongoing pain like I do.”
I understand how this question is valid. We can relate to the extreme suffering Jesus went through at the end of His life, but it was still a small amount of time.
Over the years, I have met thousands of people who are physically suffering or who have experienced intense emotional pain. When I was your, I believed our suffering was more unique from the suffering of others. Now, however, I see just how similar the path of suffering is that we are each on.
Pain is pain. We all hurt. To compare our pain to that of another, announcing that we hurt more or less than another, is pointless and harmful.
Before He was born His very life was in danger and as a toddler his family was fleeing death, pursued by King Herod. Perhaps you are familiar with the scripture of His suffering in the desert at the hand of Satan’s temptations. We rely on Sunday School dramatizations that show a brief conversation between the two. But Luke 4:1,2 says “Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, left the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, where for forty days he was tempted by the devil.”
He was despised by men, mocked, beaten, and then killed.
We cannot fathom His pain.
Yes, He was able to walk across lands without a cane or crutches during His ministry, just as we may have some days that are better than others. But His abilities do not decrease His credibility.
Through the Bible we see people suffering. Women whose lives were threatened because of sexual sin; people with disabilities and illness being forced them out of their communities; those who had emotional pain from their choices or the pain of generations handed down.
Yet, over and over Jesus met them where they were. He did not compare their pain and tell them to “buck up” because they could have it worse. Jesus called them daughter, He touched them, He loved them, He tried to find out what their real needs were.
Let us trust our Savior knows our pain. He is God–He felt it every time He looked into someone’s heart and saw their pain. And He still does so today.
Prayer: Jesus, I confess that sometimes I wonder how You can truly understand what I am going through since scripture doesn’t tell me You suffered from a chronic illness or daily, unrelenting pain. Help me remember that You are King of Kings and my Creator. You cannot help but feel what I feel. And I cannot assume to know all of Your experiences. Give me the compassion You bestow on us all. Amen.
About the author:
Lisa Copen is the founder of Rest Ministries and she is loving hearing from you about how her new book of praying the scriptures, Refresh Me, Lord, is encouraging you. She is busy working on the new Sunroom for Rest Ministries. For her creative outlet, her new Etsy shop is nearly ready to open. It will feature her beautiful, antique-style pendant necklaces with scripture and other inspirational messages.
Do you ever question if Jesus really gets what you are going through? If so, feel free to share. If not, why do you think you accept His understanding fully?
This Easter season was special to me, because never before have I truly felt like we are seeing our world setting the pieces into places that will bring our Savior back to this earth. This is Kristian Stanfill singing “Even So Come” and the lyrics share how we hope for His coming–sooner rather than later! May it bless you. Let’s get excited about how one day we will have our big party in heaven and be able to spend eternity chatting and laughing. Hugs to you. -Lisa