By John Ashley
Isaiah 53:3 “He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.”
It seems lately I have heard of many tragic and painful situations happening to so many people: accidents, death, suicide, children with severe sicknesses…the list seems endless. Some people I know personally and others not at all, but each story stirs my heart with empathy. The realization that everyone has a story and that most people are hurting at one level or another around us is a hard fact of this life. We all will have times of great sorrow and grief in our lives. People all around us are carrying burdens that we cannot see.
I know that in times of heartache in my own life I would have to suffer in silence as life around me continued on. People would be laughing and enjoying life while my heart was breaking. In my mind I would think, “How could they be happy? Don’t they know how badly I hurt?” Truth is that most times no one really knew the pain I was experiencing. How could they? I often wonder how many people we come in contact with are carrying a heavy load in their lives. They are going through the motions on their jobs, trying to put on a mask of normalcy, all the while trying to make it through the day, realizing no one knows their suffering.
The Bible prophesied some 700 years before His birth that Jesus would be a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. His life was one of carrying great burdens. The people He came to save rejected Him, He was mocked, His teachings were pegged as blasphemous, His miracles declared the work of the Devil and He knew that the cross was in His future. He never complained about the unfair treatment He received and when He did speak of His pending death His disciples didn’t understand. The Bible also tells us in Hebrews 4:15 “ For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.” The Lord knows what ever burden you are carrying today. Better yet He truly understands our pain. When everyone around us is unaware of our suffering, may we look to the one that is acquainted with grief. Most times He’s the only one we can turn to.
May the Lord also help us to remember that others around us are hurting. That rude waitress or customer service representative may just be trying to get through another day, while a loved one is sick, or they are carrying a burden greater than they can bear. Rather than assuming the person is just in the wrong job and snapping at them, maybe respond with a smile and a kind word, realizing they too could be a man or woman of sorrow and acquainted with grief. Kindness can go a long way in helping lift a heavy load.