I really hate it when I feel helpless. You know when you are in a crisis or someone shares their problem with you and you know you can’t help them. At times you wish they didn’t tell you to enjoy the bliss of ignorance. And you might quickly want to forget it by overindulging in some distraction.
The problem is when we share our troubles many people especially men rush to look for solutions. They mean well but they are also naive and shallow to realise the depth of the problem. Because sometimes the problem isn’t merely finding a solution but living with the problem.
Take our sinful heart for example. We know there’s only one cure, a new heart conformed to the nature of Christ. But we are here on earth and we have to live with this wretchedness. We don’t just need a cure for our sinful heart but the strength to endure living with this cancer.
This is why I find great comfort in the Lord Jesus because he doesn’t just fix us. He gives us the power to endure living with the problem. Because he knows what it means to bear the burden of sin in our weak bodies. As the author to the Hebrews says:
18 Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted. Hebrews 2.
I cry to him when I mess up and wish he could rip out this sinful heart. But I know as longs as I’m down here I’ll have to live with this sickness before I see him in eternal glory. So I live with the comfort of knowing he’s with me through the thick and thin. I know however bad and hopeless it feels I have him by my side as I fight sin.
And not once will I ever say, God you didn’t know what it was like living in this broken world because he knows. As a matter of fact I’ll never come close to facing what he faced on his way to earn me salvation.
Sometimes all we need is sympathy. It’s not someone to try fix us because in truth we are broken beyond repair. We don’t need someone to download their theology on us on right and wrong, evil and good, righteousness and wickedness.
We need someone who can say I know how you feel. I know the guilt within you. I can see the pain and anguish, the regret and remorse. I know exactly what you are going through because I have faced it and much worse. And Jesus the friend of sinners can say this and do much more. He can sympathize with our weaknesses, he is our strength in the journey and the cure to our weaknesses:
14 Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might break the power of him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil— 15 and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death. Hebrews 2.
We need not fear anything when we are beside him. He has conquered the monsters, that is sin, death and the devil. And now he lives in us by his Spirit and has walked ahead of us as a perfect example. Whatever we face he can sympathize with us. He’s the surgeon in the operating theater that worked on our heart cancer but also the friend beside us as we face the pain of recovery.