TO KNOW

We live in an odd world. We trade our time and our days and our lives for things-things that are fleeting.

We are living in a world full of people (souls) whose only hope, outside of the Gospel, is what we can do for ourselves. We will spend our entire lives climbing the ladder or building a family or gaining respect or trying to change the world. And the problem is, we all subconsciously (or sometimes consciously) know that the world is wasting away. We can change it, but it will only last changed for a while before it all passes away. And so, when we begin to realize this, we become depressed and depression can often lead to a stationary life.

Oh friend, run the opposite way. You and I are called to a different, moving life. We are called to a life where Jesus is our hope.

The thought of people living without knowing their purpose created specifically for them by the Maker of the Stars crushes me.

And it leaves me grieving. Waves of helplessness surround me. Winds of heartbreak overwhelm me.

But, “even the wind and the waves obey him.” (Matthew 8:27)

The storms crash and while God does not give the storms, He allows them.

The Ruler of the storms is the same Ruler of the storms of heartbreak within you and me. We hurt, but God is entirely in control. And here’s the thing: He hurts with us.

This is a world of suffering. We hurt a lot in our own struggles, battles and pain. On top of that, we hurt when we see other people hurting. There are thousands upon thousands upon thousands of people living in persecution, starvation, war, slavery, and poverty and the list goes on.

Living in a broken world among desperate people can leave us grieving. If we allow our hearts to hurt, we begin to feel physically weak, emotionally exhausted, and spiritually hungrier and hungrier.

And I guess this is why God allows us to hurt. It makes us grow. Hurting and hungry, we have to hold fast to His promises. We can ask God to take away our hurt and grief and sometimes He might.

But if He doesn’t, oftentimes, we question His capability.

But you see, it’s never that He’s not capable.

If anything, it’s that He is a million times more capable than anything we could think of.

It’s actually, that He has plans for our hurt. When He doesn’t take it away, we are forced to ask questions and rely on Someone Else’s strength to get us through: which is Jesus.

Sometimes, when I begin to hurt and Jesus isn’t taking it away at the moment, I grow numb. I push out the hurt and allow numbness to set in. It’s easier, but it is so toxic.

Or sometimes, I simply grow numb and I have to take a step back and look at what sin is cutting off my passion for His name to go forth through me.

Fight the root of the numbness and do not allow yourself to be numb. Mourning for a broken world is actually a good thing. “Blessed are those you mourn, for they shall be comforted.” (Matthew 5:4). It is entirely possible that the comfort we know in mourning is simply knowing that Jesus hurt too. And still hurts. He is with us.

Jesus suffered. He came to earth to suffer so that we could carry our hurt to Him and He would know. 

Oh, does He ever KNOW.

In Spanish, there are two verbs, both meaning “to know.” “Saber” means ‘to know factually’, or to have only factual knowledge of something. “Conocer,” however, means ‘to know familiarly.’ He doesn’t just know about our hurt. He knows our hurt and pain. Our hurt is so familiar to Him.

He knew hurt and mourning and suffering when He walked the earth. He knew it for other people,  {He “grieved at the hardness of their heart” (Mark 3:5), “and he had compassion on them and healed their sick” (Matthew 14 :14).} and He knew it within Himself. {“my soul is sorrowful” (Matthew 26:38), “my God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46), “Jesus wept” (John 11:35).}

And He hasn’t stopped knowing.

He is sitting on His throne in Heaven interceding for us. He is praying over you and me and feeling our hurt. He is asking God for things for you and me on our behalf at this very moment as He walks our daily and our life-long battles with us and sees our need. Why? Why would He do that? We are so unworthy! It’s because of grace. In grace He came to earth and in grace He intercedes for you and me. He knows our hurt and pain.

He wouldn’t have the idea of us, sinners, carrying our hurt and heartbreak all alone.

He is a man of sorrows. He could look at us and say, “I’m God, so take your hurt to someone else.”

But he doesn’t.

Rather, He longs for us to turn to Him.

He has the power to take away our hurt. But if He doesn’t, it’s because He knows that when we hurt, we become desperate and we carry our hurt to Him and then we can know Him more. We grow closer to Him when we hurt because we must rely on Him to support us. He carries the same hurt with each of us. And if it’s too much for us to carry beside Him, He picks us up and carries us too.

It’s like this: say a person had a terrible rash that covered his hands and arms. It was extremely contagious. It was so rare, possibly the only case. He finally found a doctor who could treat him. He goes to the doctor, who looks at his rash and says, “I see the problem and I can help you, but it may take a while for this to heal. But I won’t let you suffer alone while you wait for healing. Here, rub your rash-covered  hands and arms on my hands so I will know how it feels. Then, we will both suffer, but you can seek comfort in me, as I know the pain and the treatment.”

This is Jesus. He knows the pain and the treatment. He knows healing too. He lived through all the hardest of struggles and is choosing to live through them again with each of us for no other reason than that He loves us.

He hears our cries out to Him. He feels our pain. He knows our hurt.

He walks along side each of us, encouraging us, interceding for us, and knowing our hurt.

Embrace the hurt, rather than ask God to take it away. Hurting more gives us a lot more in common with Jesus.

Know hurt in other people, too. We can’t always help them or fix them, but we can enter into their hurt with them and simply know. Katie Davis said, “even though I realize I cannot always mend or meet, I can enter in to someone’s pain and sit with them and know. This is Jesus. Not that He apologizes for the hard and the hurt, but that He enters in; He comes with us to the hard places. And so I continue to enter.”

Enter into the storm of pain and hurt and heartbreak. He knows. He is in control.

IN CHRIST,

Madeline

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