I ended my time in the Word today feeling so intensely thankful for Jesus. I'm generally a huge fan of His on the whole, but today, He reminded me of something unique and spectacular about Himself, and well, I need to "shout it from the rooftops".
I've spent most of my life struggling with depression. I'm a personal believer that some people are "wired" for this more than others. I've heard, time and time again, that if I just thought positively or read enough books then I would not be living under it's cloud. But, for anyone who feels they are "wired" this way, it's not exactly something you can pull your boot-straps up about. It's in you, and in some way, a part of you.
But it's not a part of our original design.
So, do you want to know what part of Jesus I'm over-the-moon about today? Because I'm going to tell you anyways.
Isaiah 53 is the prophesy of the Messiah. It is the chapter where Isaiah so precisely describes the Man who will come and take away the sins of the world. As he described Jesus' appearance and the general "atmosphere" that followed the promised Savior, he says the words that make my heart swell:
"a man of sorrow and familiar with suffering."-verse 3
Over the past little while, Jesus has been so gentle in reminding me that He knows... He fully knows. I haven't done a whole lot of research on the gods of other religions, but one thing I am fairly certain of--none of them are able to say they have physically felt what we feel.
Jesus can because Jesus has.
I'm a mom of a three year old, and I'm immediately drawn to the doctors office. I've had my fair share of time spent getting poked and prodded and checked, so when M gets a shot or a q-tip shoved down his throat and immediately breaks into sobs of pain, I can comfort him from my own experience. I can wrap my arms around him, (sometimes crying with him) and tell him, "mommy knows it hurts honey."
Jesus does that for me, too.
The thing with depression is that it feels very alone. There aren't many people who can say the right thing to make anything "better", because that person doesn't know how I feel. But recently Jesus has been slowly and lovingly showing me just how much He does.
He knew sorrow and the loneliness that comes with it. He, of all people, was likely acutely acquainted with loneliness, being that He was God, and His only companions were humankind. He likely felt the pangs of separation from His Father and the Spirit.
He was a man of sorrow.
He was wildly misunderstood. And He was always followed by a group of people with incredibly good intentions, but zero understanding of how He felt. Everywhere He went He was ridiculed and mocked, with no One coming to His immediate aid.
He was familiar with suffering.
And He told me this:
"Daughter, in those moments of deep loneliness, you were never truly alone. I know you have seen Me as a fluffy-comforter, one who is there but doesn't really help. But do you know that each and every time you are heart-deep in tears I have held your head and cried too? Do you know that each and every time you have wept over the depth of your sorrow, I have whispered to you, 'I know it hurts, dear one. I am here with you. Just a little longer.' I know the feeling of deep loneliness and I know the fulfillment of God's promise, more than anyone has ever known that kind of fulfillment. While I know the knowledge of the presence of the Comforter doesn't always take away the pangs, never forget that it is still true. I am always there with you, holding your head, and telling you, 'just a little longer... just a little longer.'"
I can't express the feelings that came over me at this revelation. When I practice Holy Yoga, usually in corpse pose at the end, or any time that the Spirit is really covering me in some sort of heart-wrenching and life-changing Truth about myself and my life, I always feel the urge to place my hand over my forehead. It's just a thing and I've never been sure why but I just go with it. This morning I finally figured out why.
He is comforting me. He is holding my head and carrying me through the effects of years of sorrow and suffering. He is telling me, "I'm right here, sweetie. I know it hurts. Just a little longer."
If ever there was a person who could truly live out 2 Corinthians 1, where Paul talks about being able to comfort others in their suffering because of the comfort we ourselves have received in our suffering, it is Jesus. He is the ultimate Comforter because He knows how it feels. So whatever you have suffered through in this life, know that you have never been alone. He has always held you and known, truly known, how you've felt. While it may not always feel like He is there, or that this knowledge brings about any ease to the suffering, it is a big Truth that is worth holding onto regardless of feelings.
Today, I am so thankful that the One who died to save my soul is the One who is able to bring the deepest comfort in my loneliest moments.
And I'm thankful He does that for you, too.