Nervousness, anticipation, worry…these are a few of the issues we have been handling with the kids lately. Nervousness over expectations, anticipation over how personalities and attitudes will flow, and worry over friendships and starting afresh. As we are preparing to come together as a family in a few short months, it’s a lot to chew on as an adult, but when you’re a kid…yeah. So, we are doing what any loving, caring parents would do. We listen to them, assure them that they aren’t alone in their fears and that we (as parents) will be there for them. Then Lisa and I talk about it. At first we were both hesitant in coming to each other with these issues as we were uh…nervous, anxious and worrisome (Wow! Imagine that, as adults, we too deal with similar issues!), as to how the other would interpret the situation. I am SO thankful and praise God that we are comfortable enough and close enough with each other that we feel safe in openly discussing all issues as they appear! I have witnessed too many couples struggle with communication. They think that if they just avoid an issue it will go away…in reality, all it does is create a LONG list of subjects that are never resolved and can’t be discussed. Can you imagine that? If they’re married long enough, eventually every subject will be taboo and they’ll have nothing left that they can talk about! So, along with God’s help and guidance, we’ll be there with them and for them each step along the way. And that’s really the point isn’t it? Listen, discuss, pray, act…
Listen, and I mean really listen. Shut off your mouth, turn off your thoughts and turn up your ears. Becoming fully engaged in listening shows you are interested and compassionate.
Discuss, clarifying the issue and walking each other through a situation shows each other that you deeply care, want to help, are seeking common ground. But most importantly you’re doing it together.
Pray, some of your may say, ‘Well, sure for the big things of course I pray.’ But scripture tells us in Ephesians 6:18a ‘And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests.’ Some of us even wonder if God understands our pain…our sorrow. If He cares that we have stress and worry every day…of course He does! Hebrews 4:15 says this ‘For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are - yet was without sin.’ Remember, Jesus came down from glory and humbled Himself in everyway, even unto death! J.B. Phillips, a writer and New Testament translator, translated the verse this way, ‘For we have no superhuman High Priest to whom our weaknesses are unintelligible – He Himself has shared fully in ALL of our experiences of temptation, except that He never sinned.’
It’s as if the writer knows that we will say to God…”God, it’s easy for you up there. You don’t know how hard it is for us down here!” So he boldly proclaims Jesus’ ability to understand. Look at that verse again…
He Himself…not an angel…not a heavenly ambassador or emissary, but Jesus himself.
Shared fully…not partially or nearly. Not to some degree, but entirely! He shared FULLY.
In ALL of our experience…every heartache…each hurt…all of the nervousness, anxiety and worry. NO EXCEPTIONS. No shortcuts or substitutes, Jesus experienced it ALL!
But why? Why would He allow Himself to experience this? John 15:13 says this ‘Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.’ He did this so he could sympathize with our weaknesses…with our pain…with our worry. He did this so He could identify with us, so that when we pray, who better to intercede to the Father than He who has experienced it first hand?
Act, through listening, discussing and receiving guidance and peace through prayer, we can confidently more forward knowing that we’re seeking God’s will and the kids will feel better knowing we care.
Is it always going to be easy? If it wasn’t for God’s Son, why would we think life would be any easier for us? But as life deals us good and bad, heartache and rejoicing, easy or difficult…we can approach the throne of grace with confidence knowing He truly understands and can empathize fully with whatever comes our way! And we know by reading 2 Corinthians 4:17 that ‘…our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.’
In and for Him!