We’ve heard the admonition “before you judge a man, walk a mile in his shoes”… ie. look to understand his experiences, challenges and thought processes. This is also called empathy,…. “ the ability to sense other people’s emotions… to imagine what someone else is thinking or feeling; it’s the capacity to place oneself in another’s position.”
Something good happens when you realize that the other person knows what you’re talking about, what you’re going through… when you realize “he’s been there and understands”.
Well, it’s even better when you realize that Jesus knows what we’re going through. One of my favorite scriptures is from the book of Hebrews and speaks to this.
“For we have a high priest (Jesus) who is able to sympathize with our weaknesses, one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” (Hebrews 4:14-15)
Jesus knows what we’re going through. We can approach him with confidence knowing that he understands our situation. As said in the beautiful Christmas hymn, O Holy Night, “to our weakness, he is no stranger.” He knows us…he knows our weakness. Whether we experienced a traumatic loss or caused a traumatic loss, committed a terrible sin, or we’re ready to quit and “cash in our chips”….. Jesus understands. He really understands. Others may be able to empathize with us, but only imperfectly.
Jesus knows us inside and out… after all, he is God.
The Psalmist says “the fatherless and the widow he sustains” (Ps. 146:9) Having lost my father when I was 9 years old, somehow I knew the Lord understood and always had my back. I know he has watched over me and protected me over the years.
I remember a night driving along a two lane highway in Illinois … my friend trying to pass the car ahead…realizing at the “point of no return” that we were not going to make it past the oncoming car… I blurted out the name of Jesus… the next moment, we’re back in our lane traveling at 80+ mph. I believe God saved us that night from a head on collision ….
How many other times in my almost 74 years has the Lord gotten me out of a jam… protected me from harm and even death. Some I remember, probably many more I didn’t even notice. The Lord knows me inside and out. The Lord has saved me and protected me. He is also there for you. We have a great savior who is there for us, offering us “grace and mercy in our times of need”. That’s very good news.