No Stranger to Stress and Strain

Mind blown tonight as I listened to Jim Richards speak at Gateway Singles ministry on pain, heartache, and looking up to recover the gaze.

WoW! This message was super intense – and then this thought …

Christ is no stranger to stress and insurmountable odds.

He didn’t fake it till he could make it.  His emotions were real and raw.  He acknowledged the depths of his heart-wrecking to His Father.  Look at Gethsemane (Christ praying before his crucifixion)  – the Man, the Son of God broke a blood-sweat!  That’s how intense the tension in His heart was, the stress and strain so overwhelming that His body physically expressed the severe inner turmoil – blood vessels bursting from the pressure of what was about to happen.  Maybe you’ve been there too.  You may not have sweated blood, but maybe you know that kind of crushing, immobilizing stress – the kind that stops you nearly dead in your track rendering you incapable of moving forward.  Hold faith beloved.  Be encouraged.

Christ was born of flesh just as you and I.  He had emotions, physical responses, and even heartache just as we do.  He knows what it means to be tempted and to overcome.  He knows what it’s like to feel abandoned and alone.  He knows what it is to love and suffer betrayal.  Christ is no stranger to human frailty.  And yet, He pursued the desire of the Father’s heart even though it cost him anguish of heart and soul.

Tonight, I have a new revelation – He gets me.

Jesus really does get what it means to be human. He totally gets it. He knows what it’s like to live in the 11th hour with everything on the line.  He knows full well what it means when the answer you really want isn’t the answer you get.  He understands our heartache and our pain.  He knows what it means to face death and fear not.  He knows what it is to be obedient despite the cost.  He is acquainted with the extreme physical affects and impact of stress, and yet … He held faith to One so faithful and True.  In Gethsemane, in the darkest night, Christ pressed in.  He did not allow Himself to be deterred from His purpose on the earth.  Even while under great duress, Jesus held faith – for you and for me, His story matters.  It is a story of redemption, love, mercy, and grace.

We are not alone in our suffering.  The heart wrenching moments of our lives do not escape the glance of God.  The Lord knows, most assuredly I tell you – the Lord knows, and in the deepest moments of searing pain, God shines light and embraces the whole of us.

Why?

Because Christ, who suffered and died and rose again, did for us what we could in no way do for ourselves.  He paid a debt – a penalty – He did not owe.  And we get access to this gift – life eternal, hope eternal, and love eternal.  This is amazing love.  It is extravagant.  It is real.

God the Father caused it all to work together for good.  That dark, solemn, and stressful night gave way to a dawning in our souls – awakening communion and connection with the Creator.  We are now His beneficiaries and heirs.

How?

Because Christ chose to walk through the valley of the shadow of death knowing and choosing to believe full well that the Father would shepherd Him from death to life.  He made a way for us to be reunited with God the Father who loves us so so much.  Christ’s suffering made a way for us to stand in hopeful faith in the toughest of circumstances.  Because of Christ’s obedience, I choose to believe that I will make it.  I will see the goodness of God in the land of the living.  And while I may be stressed by the strain of the job search, the supposed lack of finances, or inability to just make everything work the way I want – I believe He is with me; He gets this turmoil; and He’ll walk with me each step of the way.

So tonight, I am undone – but still – He holds me together because He holds ALL things together!

Scripture References:

Luke 22:39-46
Matthew 26:36-46
Hebrews 4:14-16
Matthew 27:45-51
John 3:16-21

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7 thoughts on “No Stranger to Stress and Strain

  1. Yes and yes, Marvia… that a great portrait of Christ you’ve painted here! I feel so close to Him when a betrayal or rejection occurs… it’s like I’m feeling just a little bit of what He experienced, and it gives me joy and peace, almost instantly! The worst thing that could ever happen is that we be found alone, abandoned… and with Christ that will never, ever happen! Was are secure, no matter what…. it’s a truth that is hard to walk in, though… at least for me!

  2. Yes, yes, yes, we are not alone in our suffering. He walked the same path so he could comfort us. This song comes to my heart. I have a maker, ….he sees each tear that falls and hears me when I call.
    He is indeed no stranger to stress and strain.

  3. Yes yes yes, we are not alone in our suffering. He walked the paths we now walk, he knows exactly where the shoe hurts. He was bruised for our transgressions. He paid a penalty he committed no sin. This song comes to mind: I have a maker…..he sees each tear that falls, he hears me when I call.
    He is indeed no stranger to stress and strain.
    Thanks once again, Marvia, for the reminder.

  4. I cannot imagine what it must feel like to walk alone. While some say we come into this life alone and leave alone, thankfully our hand is being held by our loved ones, our community, our friends and foes … and our God. As long as I have a breath inside me, each morning is a new opportunity. But I realize I have a choice of how to look at that morning …

    • Sharon,
      Thank you for reading! I love that reminder, “I realize I have a choice of how to look at that morning…” We all have the power to choose our attitude. We can make things a bit easier for ourselves.

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