"The deepest comfort in our mourning is to know that God not only has compassion but actually feels our suffering with us."
~~Flora Slosson Weullner from her book Forgiveness, the Passionate Journey
I have thought and wondered about this concept often in the last year. The idea that God might actually feel my suffering with me. I know and fully accept that he knows my suffering, but the understanding and acceptance that he "feels" my suffering along with me is harder for me.
As I understand it one of the purposes of God sending his Son, a apart of himself, to earth was so that we would have a means by which we could learn and know the nature of God. As humans we struggle to know God, if for no other reason than he is God and we are human. Jesus came and dwelt among us and he was BOTH God and human. God allowed himself to take on the traits of and experience being human. I'm not so sure that is any easier for me to understand than the nature of God, but I accept it on faith and I look to Jesus to learn about God.
Jesus, from what I read in my Bible experienced every emotion that I have felt. He cried; he experienced others wanting him to become something he wasn't; he felt pain; he had the need to pull apart for times alone; he felt impatience; he felt sadness; he felt rejection. The list can go on, but this morning while meditating on this devotion this last item struck me. Jesus felt rejection!
Yes, God knows what I am feeling. He can and does feel my suffering. Does this make my suffering any less? No not really, but I think it does make it a little easier to bear and is does make it a little less scary. Most importantly it does make me feel a little less alone.
The introductory thought from this mornings devotion, also from the same book and author was...
"Pain and sorrow are never wasted when given into God's hands, and their transformation is far beyond our imaginings."
I look forward to that transformation. I get glimpses of it now and then but we humans have, or at least this human has, a hard time putting things into God's hands and leaving them there. It seems that not only do I need to continue to work on seeking and understanding of God's nature, but I also need to work on fully and totally trusting him with my life and my future. I try to do both daily.