I have known and loved Jesus from a very young age. He has been my friend through many trials. But my first question after experiencing the murder of my youngest son was, “Is God sensitive to just how painful the suffering He is allowing really is? He is God. Does He feel pain? Does He understand the pain in my heart?” I needed someone safe to take my pain to. “Was God safe? Was I alone in my pain?”

Our world has been so very broken by our sinful rebellion against God. We have all foolishly rejected God and gone our own way and the only way that can end is in death.

Our gracious Heavenly Father knew before He created us that the only way for us to truly love Him was to give us free will. He knew we would rebel. He knew His great love for us would cost Him His own dear Son’s life and still chose to create us.

“There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”

John 15:13

This is who God is, has always been, and will always be. He is a God of great intention. He is sacrificial love.

“Was God safe? Was I alone in my pain?” The only way I could discover the trustworthiness and faithfulness of God for myself was to press in. I had to draw near to God. I had to begin taking all my tears and sorrows to Him in prayer. I had to ask Holy Spirit to help me hear, see and know God. I had to search for the Truth in the scriptures. I had to allow Him into my pain before I could no longer be alone, before I could learn that He was safe. 

My sweet husband bought this painting by Greg Collins for me for Joel’s birthday this year 💕

It is only through opening ourselves up to feel our own pain, that we can begin to open ourselves up to feel the pain of another. We cannot understand how deeply someone feels pain until we open ourselves up to feel it.

It is only through my willingness to embrace my own pain and tears and through my willingness to sit with God in prayer and with Holy Spirit as I read the scriptures that I was able to begin to open up to and understand a little of how much Jesus suffered as a man, not only on the cross but through many painful trials. It was only through Jesus, Holy Spirit and His Word that I could begin to see our merciful Father. It was only through this process that I could learn how very deeply our precious Heavenly Father loves us, and is longsuffering, patient, and gracious towards us. 

What I have seen of God’s suffering love is wondrous to behold.

I cannot see or taste it for you. I can only tell you that His love is deeper and greater than I can comprehend. It is beautiful and consuming. I want to be near Him and somehow more like Him. Nothing compares to Him. Having seen a little, I want to behold, contemplate, know and be conformed into His likeness.

“I want to know Christ and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to Him in His death, and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead.”

Philippians 3:10-11

Jesus has opened up a way:

“Whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away.”

2 Corinthians 3:16

“And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into His image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.”

2 Corinthians 3:18

All we have to do is turn to Him. Turn to Him with your pain. Turn away from going your own way. Ask Holy Spirit to open your bind eyes, that you might see Jesus. Ask Him to show you the Father through Him. Ask Him to show you His glory and transform you into His image.

“So let us know—let us press on to know the LORD. As surely as the sun rises, He will appear; He will come to us like the rain, like the spring showers that water the earth.”

Hosea 6:3

He comes to us and refreshes us as we draw near to Him in prayer and meditate on His Word.

Yesterday, I beheld His beautiful suffering love through these words:

Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus (Philippians 2:5)
The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of His nature,
upholding all things by His powerful word. (Hebrews 1:3)
Who, existing in the form of God,
did not consider equality with God something to be grasped
but emptied Himself, taking the form of a servant being made in human likeness (Philippians 2:6-7)
made like His brothers in every way (Hebrews 2:17)
He is able to deal gently with those who are ignorant and misguided,
since He Himself is beset by weakness (Hebrews 5:2)
[able] to sympathize with our weaknesses (Hebrews 4:15)
He humbled Himself (Philippians 2:8)
He Himself suffered (Hebrews 2:18)
He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, acquainted with grief.
Like one from whom men hide their faces, He was despised, and we esteemed Him not. (Isaiah 53:3)
He offered up prayers and pleadings with loud cries and tears to the One who could save Him from death, and He was heard because of His reverent submission. (Hebrews 5:7)
yet we considered Him stricken by God, struck down and afflicted.(Isaiah 53:3)
Surely He took on our infirmities and carried our sorrows (Isaiah 53:4)
and became obedient to death— even death on a cross. (Philippians 2:8)
While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8)
Although He was God’s Son, He learned obedience from what He suffered. (Hebrews 5:8)
having been made perfect through suffering (Hebrews 2:10, 5:9)
the Lamb who was slain from the foundation of the world (Revelation 13:8)
the Author of our Salvation (Hebrews 2:10)
became the Source of Eternal Salvation to all who obey Him (Hebrews 5:9)
After He had provided purification for sins,
He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high (Hebrews 1:3)
a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God (Hebrews 2:17)
Because Jesus lives forever, He has a permanent priesthood.
Therefore He is able to save completely those who draw near to God through Him,
since He always lives to intercede for them (Hebrews 7:24-25)

May the Lord bless you and keep you in His Wondrous Suffering Love,