'Christ in You...'
by Dale Krebbs
"When the world seems cold, and your friends seem few,
There is someone who cares for you;
He will come down from the sky, and brush the tears from your eyes;
Your His child...and He cares for you"
These words, taken from a gospel melody of many years ago are as true today as they were then.
Some seem to feel that being referred to as a "child" is humiliating, even demeaning. They resent being called a child of God, feeling being childish is implied. They feel that being weak is implied. Perhaps this is an indication of how far society has drifted away from true values. We have been desensitized about things that we should be very sensitive to, and over sensitized by things that should not be made an issue of. Perhaps some are still more of this world than realized. After all, unless we all become as little children, we will never enter the Kingdom of God (Matthew 18:2-4).
In the lyrics of the song referred to above, the burden of loneliness is clearly evident. Even when we know and acknowledge that it is through many difficulties that God finishes our salvation (Acts 14:21-22), we can become very discouraged by a multitude of affliction of body and mind. These afflictions - whatever they may be, however they may come - God allows and will use to perfect whatever is lacking in us.
We do not really know what is lacking in us. But Jesus does. No one should ever be embarrassed or ashamed of loneliness. Think for a moment, and consider the life of Jesus in this world. He had no true friend who could relate to Him on His level. There was no one of the disciples, acquaintances, even His own family who He could relate to. He was God walking around in a body that looked like everyone else, but that was all. Inside - where all the faculties of eternity resided - He seemed inaccessible to those around Him. He was from another "world" functioning in their world. When the stress of dealing with the world, his often oblivious disciples, the hostile Jewish leadership, and His own family rejecting Him, what did He do? He took it to His Father - alone. This is what He asks us to do (Matthew 6:6).
Is it any wonder that He was a "man of sorrows". In every way and in everything, Jesus has entered into and experienced the pangs you are going through right now (Hebrews 2:17-18). God has gone through everything that we will ever go through, before us. He does not ask us to do anything that He has not already done. He even became one of us in order to do it.
Each tribulation that we must go through is adjusted to fit each of us. No two Christians have the exact cross to bear, just as there are no two people on earth exactly alike. Each cross is specifically designed, and specifically adjusted to fit each. There may be similarities, but no two are exactly alike. Some must endure the loneliness of their circumstances that often cannot be remedied. Someone may be carrying the burdensome cross of responsibility for the welfare of others, physical or spiritual or both. But Jesus has already been there. Not only does He care - He is there - every moment of every day and night.
It seems that the loneliness some bear becomes heavier at night. There is something about the darkness of the night that weighs extra heavy on the soul. It must have been the same in many ways, with Jesus. It is often implied that the reason He rose very early in the morning hours and found a lonely place to pray was because He planned it that way. But when we remember that He was tried in every way that we are, could it be that He simply could not sleep, due to the stress of the activities of the day? (Hebrews 4:15) Some are afraid to go to sleep at night, because of tension and stress - and loneliness - and the realization of failures and mistakes. Sleep is the nearest thing to death we can experience without dying. It is often a subconscious fear. (see Archives "Near Death Experience").
The cross that we are ask to bear is not placed upon us as punishment for sin. Jesus Christ took that upon Himself. The results of past sins may linger (this too, God allows) and makes the cross heavier, but it is not punishment for past sin. Our cross, whether it be loneliness, or any other affliction is designed to cause us to grow. It is for no other reason.
In all these things, you are never alone (Hebrews 13:5). Loneliness resulting from burdens of leadership, the loneliness of the cross of ill health, or any other affliction you can possibly experience or, are experiencing, Jesus would have you remember just two words. Undoubtedly Jesus was lonely at times. The world must have seemed cold. His friends were few. But Someone cared for Him. He was, often lonely - but never alone. This writer remembers a time one morning, having arising early from a rather sleepless night, two words going over and over in my mind:
"Trust Me...trust Me...trust Me...!"
Where ever you are, what ever your cross, He cares for you. You do not bear your cross alone. The Comforter is always with you.
"He was despised and rejected and forsaken by men, a Man of sorrows and pains, and acquainted with grief and sickness; and like One from Whom men hide their faces He was despised, and we did not appreciate His worth or have any esteem for Him. Surely He has borne our griefs (sicknesses, weaknesses, and distresses) and carried our sorrows and pains [of punishment], yet we [ignorantly] considered Him stricken, smitten, and afflicted by God [as if with leprosy]. But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our guilt and iniquities; the chastisement [needful to obtain] peace and well-being for us was upon Him, and with the stripes [that wounded] Him we are healed and made whole." - Isaiah 53:3-5 (AmpBible)
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