Does God know what it’s like to suffer?

 In Jack's Dad

Does God know it’s like to have pain and suffering?

Well? Does He? Does God know what it’s like to be a parent of a child that suffers from adverse effects of pain?  Does God know what it’s like to feel pain?

Not just the uncomfortable pain, but the gut-wrenching pain that leaves you exhausted, unmotivated and hopeless.  The physical pain which inhibits movement and is the thief to normal activities.

A few weeks ago I took a trip to the Adirondack Mountains in Upstate New York. I was able to take some time out of my crazy-busy schedule to refresh. The goal of my trip was to spend time with God. While I was away I was able to spend some encouraging time with some awesome friends.  Aside from all the details of reminiscing, we began to talk about some struggles that I was working through. Without dropping a beat the Bible was opened to Hebrews 4:15-16…

“For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. 16 Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. (NIV)”

I am sure that I have read through this part of the Bible before, but on this certain night it was as if these words has just been penned. It was a real experience to realize that God knows and understands the struggles that we have.  Not only did it encourage me in my daily walk through life, but it also brought a fresh look at how God views the pain that comes from disability.

Now…Fast-Forward to Easter.  You know, that whole weekend that we just celebrated. The kids have 5 days off school. There is usually a special communion service at Church. Maybe Easter is the only time you go to church.

Easter is all about the remembrance and celebration of Jesus Christ being brutally crucified on a cross in order to be the sacrificial payment for our sin.

As you read through the account of the crucifixion it is a brutal experience which involved senseless beating and floggings. Jesus was given a crown of thorns on His head. He had huge nails hammered into his hands and then hung up on a cross. Then, if that wasn’t enough, the record states that the soldiers thrust a spear into His side to make sure he was dead.

Yes, Jesus can sympathize with your pain, my pain and our child’s pain.

Jesus also suffered another pain. While Jesus was on the cross sacrificing Himself, He took the world’s evil on himself. He was acting as our scapegoat for our evil so that we could be forgiven from our sin and have relationship with God. This emotional and spiritual hurt was like nothing we have experienced.

Yet, we do experience emotional and spiritual pain. We have all been through situations with both our typical children and our children with special needs that bring us to such hopeless desperation emotionally and leave us spiritually exhausted.

Jesus knows what that is like.

He completely gets it.

Jesus understands more than your closest friend.

My encouragement to you as a special needs parent this week is to talk with Jesus (people call this ‘praying’) about the hurt that you experience.

Be Encouraged,

Jack’s Dad.
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