As I went running last week, I watched as the telephone poles cast cross shadows on the street in front of me. And I thought of Jesus. What must it have been like for Him to walk the pathways of Galilee and Jerusalem when He happened upon a cross? A common form of execution, He must’ve seen them in His travels.
He would, in that moment, be reminded of a painful, excruciating future. I can imagine His humanness fretted, or maybe His stomach lurched at the thought of that violent death.
And then I thought of my friends who have faced or are facing a scary, scary illness. How, if they are in remission, must feel when a show comes on about cancer, or what it must be like when they must return to the doctor for tests. They’ve experienced the bewilderment, pain and shock, and now they are reminded afresh of what may lie ahead.
I’m sad for my friends battling this kind of fear. I hurt for my friends who remain hospitalized. And as I pray, I ask Jesus to please remind them of this truth–He knew when His death would be. He knew it would excruciate. He understood that not only would He face a violent death, but that He would face it alone.
He faced hell. With grit. With grace. With tenacity. But it certainly wasn’t easy.
All that to say, Jesus understands. Oh how He understands. Like a breast cancer survivor seeing a mammogram machine, Jesus must’ve seen the form of His execution as He trod this earth. He empathizes with the fear. He comes alongside those who may face inevitable pain. He, too, lived with that underlying fear/dread that you or your loved one may have experienced.
For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are–yet he did not sin. Hebrews 4:15
Mind if I pray for those facing a scary illness? (Feel free to share!)
Jesus, I pray for those who see reminders of their past illness and turn to fear and fretting. Help them trust You for their future, You who bore the same fear, You who saw the instrument of Your death as you walked the dusty roads of earth. Be so very near to those facing death. Be their rock, their sure place, their comfort, their hope. Settle nerves. Calm relatives. Bring peace. Come alongside as only You can do. Amen.