By Kathi Pelton
“In all their affliction he was afflicted.” Isaiah 63:9
Some versions say,
“In all their sufferings, He suffered.”
God is not only the God who “rejoices over us with singing” (Zephaniah 3:17) but he is also the God who grieves and suffers with you. He is more compassionate than can ever be imagined which is displayed in his faithful love and endurance that he has revealed to mankind throughout the ages.
If you are suffering— know this; God is suffering with you. You are not alone, you are not condemned, and you are not abandoned. He feels what you are feeling and he is with you.
In the story of the raising of Lazarus from the dead in John 11, I am always touched by his response to Martha and Mary’s pain and tears, “…he was deeply moved.” (Vs 33) and then in verse 35 it merely says, “Jesus wept.”
Jesus knew that he was about to raise Lazarus and that there would be great joy restored— but when he saw the pain in the eyes of those who loved Lazarus, he first stopped and wept. He suffered with them, he felt their pain and he wept with them— because of how much he loved them.
I personally do not believe that the suffering of any believer is in vain. Not only do your tears capture the affection of the Lord but they cause him to enter into your affliction as well. Isaiah 63:9 goes on to say these words,
“…and the Angel of His Presence saved them.”
Most scholars do not believe that this was a created angel but that is it speaking of God himself. His presence comes like an angel and rests upon the afflicted to save them and carry them through their deepest pain.
“He redeemed them because of His love and compassion; He lifted them up and carried them…” Isaiah 63:9
He covers you, carries you and has compassion on you.
The day that my younger brother was being taken off of life support last year (due to Covid), may have been one of the most excruciating moments of my life. I felt like I couldn’t breathe and was weeping uncontrollably. Yet, in those moments of such deep pain— the presence of the Lord was tangible. I was overwhelmed with pain and equally as overwhelmed by his presence. The Angel of His Presence was carrying me— and I could feel the Lord weeping with me. Though my brother wasn’t raised up like Lazarus, l could feel him with me…and he wept. During those moments, I witnessed unexpected miracles that flowed out of his compassion and redemption. I experienced his eternal love and the veil between the temporal and eternal became thin and sheer— so that I could see beyond the loss to the eternal gain.
Nothing is wasted! Not one tear is forgotten or unseen. No suffering of his saints is left without his presence, his compassion and his redemption. Though we may not fully understand the suffering that we endure, I am confident that the the crushing produces a wine of great cost and value. Our tears are like the costly perfume that Lazarus’ sister, Mary, poured out upon the feet of Jesus. There is a fragrance that is released when we pour out our suffering over his feet.
“Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.” Matthew 5:4
If you are suffering today— you are not alone. Jesus weeps with you. The “Angel of His Presence” is with you even now to carry you through with great love and compassion. He will restore you. Pour out your tears over his feet and let the fragrance of suffering become a perfume that fills the room. Not one tear is wasted when Jesus is present. It has eternal value.
“The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” Psalm 34:18
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28
May the Lord bless you and keep you— May his face shine upon you and give you peace.
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