Bible Reading: Hebrews 5:7-9
Even though Jesus was God’s Son, he learned obedience from the things he suffered. Hebrews 5:8
SOME CHRISTIANS can’t believe God feels their pain and loneliness. Maybe they figure that the God of the universe can’t be touched by human emotions. But here’s how Jesus might answer that thought:
“Something bothers me. People think I’m isolated-way up here in the sky somewhere, far removed from the cares of the world. They think I don’t have any emotions. Well, I’m not made of cardboard. I feel joy. I feel sadness.
“If you read the Bible, you know how often my heart spilled over with compassion for every lonely, hurting, empty person. John tells you in chapter 4 how I felt the emptiness of the woman of Samaria who came to the well by herself. My love and tenderness satisfied her spiritual thirst because she learned her life could overflow with my love.
“And then there was Zacchaeus-hated by nearly everyone for being a tax collector. Like today, people back then didn’t like tax collectors. But Zacchaeus had another problem. He was a little guy, the brunt of jokes. When I spotted him squatting on a tree limb as I passed along a road, I knew he was lonely. That’s why I invited myself to lunch at his house. I wanted him to know that I cared about him.
“Here’s what I’m trying to say. I know what’s going on inside of you even when no one else does. You can’t hide your feelings from me. I was there when you did poorly on that last exam. You probably didn’t know it, but I felt your hurt. And when your dad yelled at you and accused you of not studying, I saw it-just like I was there for the woman at the well and for Zacchaeus.
“I’ve already told you I know what it’s like to be lonely. I’ve told you just a little of my experience on the cross. But do you realize that I’ve already been part of your experiences of loneliness? Know it or not, I was there all along.
“I was there when you broke up with that person you liked. I was there when you screamed into your pillow. I felt you sweating when your parents were arguing and threatening each other. I’ve always been there! And I always will be.
“Just as my Father and I live in a unbroken state of companionship, I want to live exactly the same way with you. Our friendship will get deeper as time goes on. But right now you can begin to make new discoveries about who I am. I just want you to know how I feel about you. I’m Jesus. I’m your Friend, now and always.”
REFLECT: How would your relationship with God be different if you thought about the fact that he is present with you every moment of your life?
PRAY: Tell God you believe that he will be with you-right now and always.