Have you ever said those words to someone who was trying to offer help or sympathy for something you were going through?
Because in that moment you know that only one who has experienced the circumstance you are in is able to truly perceive the scope of the situation.
Does this ring true with you? I can recall a couple of situations in the past where I was in the place of trying to console another. They spoke those words to me.
"You can't possibly understand."
It wasn't until later that I understood how correct they were. A few years later, after I myself did experience firsthand a same situation as one of those individuals from the past - I realized the difference between understanding on the superficial level (knowledge-you have pain of sort either emotionally or physically and it hurts) vs. understanding by experience. The 2 are not the same.
This quote from Streams in the desert says it well: "We cannot do good to others save at a cost to ourselves, and our afflictions are the price we pay for our ability to sympathize. He who would be a helper, must first be a sufferer."
From personal experience I can tell you that there is only ONE who does understand completely the depth of any sorrow you may endure or the height of any joy you experience. Because He has faced it Himself so He is able to understand and provide help as needed.
With that thought in mind I couldn't leave chapter 2 without bringing light upon this truth. Of all the author has been telling us about Jesus it is culminated in these last verses, listen to what we are told:
NKJV- "Therefore, in all things He had to be made like His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. 18 For in that He Himself has suffered, being tempted, He is able to aid those who are tempted."
And in the Message it is paraphrased: " It’s obvious, of course, that he didn’t go to all this trouble for angels. It was for people like us, children of Abraham. That’s why he had to enter into every detail of human life. Then, when he came before God as high priest to get rid of the people’s sins, he would have already experienced it all himself—all the pain, all the testing—and would be able to help where help was needed."
He HAD to be made like us, experience firsthand - that He may understand and identify with His creation that HE MAY HELP US, out of our predicament of facing the judgment of God upon sin. He HAD to. For "To have a sympathizing God we must have a suffering Savior, and there is no true fellow-feeling with another save in the heart of him who has been afflicted with him." Streams in the Desert
No matter the love, compassion and concern a person may have for you when you receive the news that your child has cancer - they cannot truly understand the emotions/feelings you are experiencing if they have not faced such a time.
No matter the love, compassion and concern a person may have for you when you face the death of a loved one - they cannot truly understand if they have not stood at the graveside of a loved one.
No matter the love, compassion and concern a person may have for you when you are told you have a life threatening health issue - they cannot truly understand unless they have experienced such news.
No matter the love, compassion and concern a person may have for you when you face a life of daily chronic pain - they cannot truly understand unless they have dealt with it themselves.
"He who would be a savior must somewhere and somehow have been upon a cross;.."
Every person has a story. Each of us have faced our trials and difficulties in life. Each of us is able to give support, understanding and help to someone else to some degree but, there is no one person who has experienced all there is to experience - other than JESUS.
Not only did He agree to leave the side of the Father to become a man, not only did he say yes to becoming a babe in a womb, not only did He choose to become lower than the angels for a time, not only did He live a sinless life in the midst of a culture that denied God and followed every false way presented, not only was He persecuted, not only did he face hunger, thirst and daily obstacles of life, ridicule,mocking, fatigue, and sorrows he faced DEATH and CONQUERED it for you!
Think of Jesus facing death which is separation from the source of life -
God the Father.
Jesus the Son experienced being separated from God the Father; plunged into complete, utter blackness of darkness where there is no light. For God is light and in Him is no darkness. (I John 1:5)
Stark aloneness in absence of life; in absence of light.
A state WE C A N N O T BEGIN to imagine.
For a moment and think. Wrap your brain around what He did.
And then you can believe that
No one cares For you Like Jesus.
No one understands like Jesus.
Getting ahead of myself I can't help but bring out this verse we'll get to in chapter 12: "In your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood."
Jesus has experienced suffering above and beyond the degree of anything you or I have or will experience. He better than anyone else knows and understands the depth of heartache and sorrow we may be facing at any given time under any circumstance. "He who would be a savior must somewhere and somehow have been upon a cross;..."
THAT IS LOVE WHICH CAN BE TRUSTED. But only truly understood when experienced PERSONALLY by the one who will choose to BELIEVE and to call upon Him for salvation.
TAKE THE STEP. CALL ON HIM.
Until next time I pray you rest in God's grace and peace to sustain you one day at a time.