I visited my brother Chuck in the hospital yesterday. He was diagnosed with Light Chain Myeloma today which is a cancer of the blood. He’s in extreme pain because the disease has created bone fractures in his spine. He’ll have spine surgery later this week and start chemo and steroids tomorrow.
This all seems so unreal. He is younger than I am and has always been very active. His children are 24 and 20. It’s going to be a long journey with the potential for a lot of both physical and emotional pain. We are thanking the Lord that Chuck is trusting God and we’re all asking for God’s miraculous healing and the extension of Chuck’s life beyond the 5-10 years that is normally anticipated for this disease.
As I sat in his hospital room and watched him grimace in pain, I could literally say I knew his pain. I had similar back pain in 2010 but surgery corrected my herniated disc problem and the Lord has brought me back to health. But seeing Chuck’s agony brought back memories of the pain, weariness, and pleadings for God’s mercy and help.
I began thinking of Hebrews 4:14-15: “Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin” (NASB).
Just as I could feel Chuck’s pain to some degree, Jesus feels our pain and struggles to the fullest degree. He is not a god sitting in the heavens cheering us on but never experiencing our humanity. He has been tempted in every way that we are. Of course, not in every single individual way but in the broad categories, He was faced with the same temptations we are. In his humanity, he was tired, bored, weary, weepy, physically injured and rejected. He can actually say, “I feel your pain” and mean it!
Although there is nothing I can do to help Chuck, except pray, Jesus is able to help us in our weaknesses and temptations. Not only did He experience humanity in the flesh and be tempted as we are, He wants to help and has the power to help. Not just to sympathize and empathize but help!
That’s why the next verse in that passage is so encouraging and significant: “Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need” (vs 16 NASB).
What a thrill and encouragement to know that Jesus knows Chuck’s physical pain and how he’ll be challenged in these coming months and years. And He knows the heartbreak of us who love him and care about him. We can go to Jesus and He’ll assure us, “I know what you’re going through. I’m here for you.”
Glorious God! Thank You that You know and care!