ACKNOWLEDGING SUFFERING

Do you ever feel like your pain is unseen?

Jesus, the perfect Son of God, looks on us with compassion.  The One who could easily play the “one up” game on suffering extends His mercy and compassion to us.

In John 11, we see one example.  Mary, the sister of Lazarus, tells Jesus that Lazarus is very sick.  Verse 4: “When Jesus heard it, He said, ‘This sickness will not end in death…”  Then, Lazarus dies and his family is devastated.  When Jesus arrived at his tomb days later, Mary came to Jesus and “fell at His feet and told Him, ‘Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died!’  When Jesus saw her crying, and the Jews who had come with her crying, He was deeply moved in His spirit and troubled…Jesus wept.” (vs.32-35)

Have you ever sat with someone in their suffering?  Once when I was in the middle of a grueling season, a friend text me something simple and profound: “I see that you are suffering.  God sees it too.  I love you and I am praying for you!”  That acknowledgment mattered.

The power of acknowledging another’s suffering is great.  Especially in the body of Christ.  When one part of the body suffers, the whole body suffers.  Acknowledgment is a starting point that aids healing and encourages action.  

What strikes me about Jesus’ response is that He knew Lazarus was going to be raised from the dead.  But even then, knowing the miracle was coming, He still took time to be moved by the tears and pain of His friends.  He could have said, “Dry it up guys!  Good things are coming!”  But instead, we read, “Jesus wept.”

Church, we are a beautiful, diverse, body created in the image of God Himself.  Let’s acknowledge those suffering around us.

I think the enemy hopes we will glance at our brothers’ and sisters’ pain and get back to carrying on with a mostly unbothered life.   Let’s be willing to rejoice together and suffer together.

Father, We pray for unity as the body of Christ and help us to work toward that. We acknowledge that we are a dysfunctional body and we often don’t know what to do to fix it.  You do, God.  We want to follow Your leading.  Let us be a Micah 6:8 people- to do what is right, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with You!”  We need you every hour, Jesus!  Thank you for Your sacrifice, the ultimate act of identifying with pain.  We love You and worship You alone!  In Jesus’ powerful name, Amen

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Central Christian Church | Mount Vernon, Illinois