To the boy or girl, man or woman
who feels misunderstood: Jesus sees you, hears you, knows you, and empathizes with you. He was misunderstood too.
To the boy or girl, man or woman who feels that no one understands: He feels your pain, because he lives in you, and he created you. He understands what it’s like to be judged and tempted. He knows the ache of pain that won’t pass.
When others misdiagnose you, label you, and place the weight of their assumptions on you he aches empathetically. You may be weighed down, but you will not be crushed. You may be bruised, but you will not be scarred. You may be isolated, but you will not be rejected. Jesus was crushed, scarred, and rejected by men so you wouldn’t have to be.
Sometimes we struggle because of our own choices, and sometimes we struggle because we live in an imperfect world. Often, life can feel unfair. Often, we are weighed down by mountains we did not create, bruised without throwing the first punch, and isolated without walking away. Jesus experienced these realties on the cross. He was weighed down with sentences and sins he did not commit. He was bruised with hands he wanted to hold, and he was isolated by people he loved.
Although, if you created a mountain, threw the first punch, or walked away he still sees you and hears you. He knows you, empathizes with you, and loves you. The cause of this heartache does not erase the hope you have in him.
So, whatever the cause, where do you go from here? Remember that “…he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again” (2 Corinthians 5:15). In the waiting, while your wounds are still open reflect on Jesus’ own suffering. What was he thinking and feeling in the garden of Gethsemane? Remember his own words “…My father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will” (Matthew 26:39). Maybe you’re praying the same prayer Jesus prayed to the father. Yet, in your pain remember his good, pleasing, and perfect will (Romans 12:2).
Finally, pray for a heart receptive to his direction. It’s natural to grieve, doubt, and be angry, but do not forget that he too asked for suffering to pass. Most importantly, his request was notgranted because the purpose outweighed the pain. That purpose was eternal hope for you. A hope that one day you will be free from suffering and struggle. Remember, “…Our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us” (Romans 8:18).
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