Excerpts from Isaiah 53
"He was despised and rejected by men;
a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief..."
"Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows;
yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted.
But he was wounded for our transgressions;
he was crushed for our iniquities;
upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace;
and with his stripes we are healed."
"Yet it was the will of God to crush him;
he has put him to grief."
Does Jesus know my sorrow and relate to my grief? If ever there was a question (and there was), this passage answers it. He not only knows it, it says he has borne our grief and carried our sorrows. He became the afflicted one so that we could know freedom and grace. "With his stripes we are healed."
Lord, help me live in your freedom!
Speaking of living in freedom, my friend, Rushika, and her mother from Sri Lanka visited me today. Year's ago, Rushi's mother lost her 16 year old son and then lost her baby during labor and delivery shortly after her older son's death. You would think that this woman's life would be completely defined by sorrow. But quite to the contrary, she lives in absolute peace and joy! She hands out encouragement and comfort like lifelines to those around her. Because she is so closely acquainted with grief, she now knows the Lord's character very well and makes it her mission to extend his love to others. I was so blessed by her today. She spoke truth to my soul and prayed for my empty womb that it would be blessed with Cora's future brothers and sisters. She said, "God is not testing you with sorrow, he is trusting you with it because he knows you can handle it"...without losing faith in his goodness. Such a perspective makes me feel almost as though it's a privilege to carry this grief. I pray I will be like her one day, encouraging those around me with blessings and truth.
Thank you, Rushika, for setting up our meeting today. And thank you, Lord, for the Body of Christ near and far who extend your love in amazing ways!