You are going through a really hard time, a moment of bereavement, loss or darkness and here comes someone telling you “You would be fine my dear” or worse yet, “I can relate”
You find those remarks prickling, all you want to do is yell, “HOW DO YOU KNOW I’M GOING TO BE FINE? DO YOU KNOW HOW IT IS BITING ME?” “WHAT CAN YOU RELATE TO? YOU AND WHO IS IN A RELATIONSHIP?” But the pain you are feeling is so enervating that it only affords you the strength to nod or mutter a noncommittal “Thank you.”
But you would feel a lot better if those words came from someone who you know has gone through a similar or worse situation. Their own “You would be fine” does not have the hollow irrelevance of a platitude, it comes with a living proof –the person speaking. You can take their promise of hope because you know they have been there. When they say “I can relate” you take it, because you know they can. You can bond with such a person over a shared pain.
I use Every Day with Jesus for my personal devotion and it is always a source of blessing. So, sometimes last year, a study on loneliness was being thrashed, and by divine providence, it coincided with a time in my life when I was going through what the study explained to be a worse kind of loneliness –being lonely in a crowd. I was at the time, in an active bustling environment, exuberance and life blew by me and I found myself not exactly fitting into the mould, I found that I was almost always alone, even if I was right in the middle of a conversation. This issue was rippling to almost every sphere of my life.
Then one night, I lay on my bed reading the devotional and an insight was revealed to me. Jesus most probably experienced sordid loneliness while he was yet on earth. He who came from a glorious, righteous heaven, he was used to the way things ran up there, must have felt totally out of place in a world that operated under the siege of darkness. I remember how I faced the wall that night and communed with God in awestruck whispers. Jesus, so you understand. So you do understand exactly how I feel!
It was surreal. I had found a friend who was more than just willing to bear my burden, he shared my burden. He could actually relate. I tell you, my loneliness ended there as I learned to bond with my friend over our shared pain.
For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Heb 4:15 (ESV)
The very first time I came across this scripture was a long time ago in my childhood. I did not see it in the Bible, I heard it from my mother’s mouth. We were having a serious discussion about real life issues and experiences in the guest room, for some weird reason, even I don’t know, we used to lounge in the guest room sometimes. As we discussed, my heart was weighed by how much God’s children go through at times and I wondered why God allowed it. I aired my opinion; Yes, he is a good God, but he is too big, too strong and mighty to know exactly how we mere mortals feel when life deals heavy punches on us. It was then my Mum quoted the above passage and explained it to me. That verse struck me with a force I am still yet to recover from.
Our high priest is touched by the very feeling of our infirmity. He passed through EVERY thing we could possibly ever go through. Take a pause and let this sink in. I do not believe that Jesus only experienced three temptations, those ones where just the only ones recorded. EVERY, in that verse, means EVERY. He overcame every last one of them. With him we have understanding and empathy unfeigned. With him we have an advocate that knows exactly how it’s biting us. He can relate, so we can trust his words and promises. And in him, we have the hope of overcoming, for he overcame.
Many of us are going through our Christian walk with the misconception of the younger me and this makes it really hard.
We were not called to do this walk alone,
we have been called to do this walk as a stroll with a lover.
Holding his hands, talking with him as he guides us
Down the path he has already walked and knows so well.
We should bond with Christ over our pain. Whatever the pain is; loneliness, depression, temptation, failure, you name it. Trust me, it brings forth raw beauty from the seeming chaos.
Have you had a similar bonding with Christ? Why don’t you share it in the comment section?
People! I am excited. Aren’t you? #CFCDown is only three days away! Three days.
Are you ready to be blown away? Are you ready to get hooked? Are you ready to down episode after episodes doses of blessings in Down? Are you ready to enjoy the conversation on twitter and other social media platforms with the harshtag #CFCDown and #CFCDowntheconversation?
Get ready. Down is coming.
And yes, with each episode would come questions and the conversation would be on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and my WhatsApp story. Make sure to join the conversation, your feedback and inputs would highly be appreciated.
So, I would drop my handles now. As you bond with God over your experiences, let us bond over #CFCDown. Lol
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