Acquainted with Grief
Strange acquaintance for the Son of God! The brightness of glory, and the express image of the Father’s person!
But He came into our world on purpose that He might know by experience all that His people had suffered; yea, all that His people deserved. He had heard of sorrow. He had seen it in others. But He had never felt it Himself. He took our nature. He came into our place.
He began to suffer as soon as He was born, and He pursued a course of suffering until He died. In the sweat of His brow He ate His bread. The reproaches of them that reproached His Father, fell on Him. He became intimate with grief. He knew it in all its varieties, in all its depths. No one ever suffered so much, or from so many causes, or so constantly, as He. He visited joy occasionally, but He dwelt with grief. It was His companion.
Christian, your Lord suffered for you; He suffered like you; He suffered far, far more than you; and now He can sympathise with you. He knows by experience what human nature feels. He knows the effect of grief upon the nerves, and the spirits, and the temper. He suffered from all quarters: from heaven, earth, and hell; and therefore He is able, He is moved, to succour you in all your sorrows, griefs, and woes. – Rev. James Smith. Believer’s Daily Remembrancer
Reflect, Ponder, and Pray
“Nobody knows how I really feel!” “I wish someone else could understand what I am going through!” “I am all alone in this suffering and who can fathom it?”
These are questions chronically ill folks regularly ask themselves. We yearn to have others in our sphere know what we are experiencing. However, I have found that is impossible. How can I put 30 years of affliction into suitable words? After a while I stopped trying….
That is why this meditation by James Smith is so powerful. He points us to the truth in scripture that our Savior, Jesus Christ, is acquainted with grief and sorrows of every kind. There is nothing on this earth that Christ is not familiar with. That means the unexpressed even secret pain you are feeling today does have someone who understands – someone who “gets it”! That someone is Christ. He is our Suffering Savior “intimate with grief”. We can lay every burden down before Him confident that He understands, that He truly cares about it, and that He can help you through it. What immense joy and comfort is available to us here!
Lead photo – “Used But Useful” and Reflections courtesy: Artist Barbara Coleman. This old boat has clearly been painted many times with various colors. Most of the layers have peeled off but the rope suggests that it is still being used. I was having a hard time physically while I was painting and I often felt like this title…used but still useful!
Barbara has been in ministry with her husband Mike for over 48 years. She has three married sons and 10 grandchildren. Barbara delights in many things including gardening, painting. and sharing the joy of her salvation with others. She leans on the Lord daily to help her cope with 5 chronic illnesses. She is happy…
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PRAYER PROMPT GUIDE
Sometimes we all need a little encouragement and a boost in our prayer lives. While talking with God should be easy, a guide can be a helpful resource to lean into, spurring us on to deeper, more intimate conversations with Him.
- Set aside a special time and place to meet with God. For each one of us this may look different. Some might find that being outside draws them closer to God. Others might release their thoughts and prayers best when moving, like when taking a walk or on an elliptical. For others, a special chair or room might open their hears to connect with God. No matter where you meet Him, it’s important to designate a time to sit at the feet of Jesus. It may be a specific time or something more general, like in the morning, but making that time a priority will bless your entire day.
- Quiet your heart and mind. Breathe deeply. Life may move at a hectic pace or we may have trouble letting go of anxiety or our “to-do” list, but for most of us, it can be challenging to slow down and quiet our minds. Breathing deeply is a great cue for our bodies to release tension and relax.
- Slowly read the Scripture and the prompt, perhaps several times. Reading slowly and deliberately is another way to reinforce the solace we seek. Reading the Scripture several times then “preaching” those words to ourselves helps us to really “hear” God speaking to us. Scripture transforms us from the inside out.
- Write the verse in your journal, noting any words that catch your attention. Writing in a journal is another way to slow down and it creates a memory of the time we spend in prayer. Scripture on the page – underlined, highlighted, or circled – invites curiosity about what God may want to talk with us about.
- Talk with God, taking time to listen, then journal your thoughts. The previous steps begin to soften us, preparing us for a two-way conversation with our loving Father, who wants to hear what’s on our hearts and minds. Scripture guides us to a path where the Good Shepherd is waiting to lead us, to remind us of His deep love for us, and to draw us to Himself. While we may not realize that transformation is in process, journaling helps us to see, over time, where we are being lead to love, serve, and care for those in our sphere of influence.
VISIT THE CHRONIC JOY PRAYER POND
You’re invited to the Chronic Joy Prayer Pond. Toss your prayer requests, updates, and shouts of praise into the pond, then watch them ripple with radical hope and compassionate change throughout our community and beyond. Then be sure #PrayItForward by clicking the “I PRAYED FOR THIS” button to let the requester know you prayed for them.
We are all blessed to have a place to pray and people to pray with and for us. Who do you know needs to toss a prayer or praise into the pond, and who might link arms with us in prayer?