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Understanding Our Pain

by | Apr 10, 2024 | Death, God's Love, Grief

“And there followed Him a great multitude of the people and of women who were mourning and lamenting for Him. But turning to them Jesus said, ‘Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for Me, but weep for yourselves and for your children. For behold, the days are coming when they will say, “Blessed are the barren and the wombs that never bore and the breasts that never nursed!”’” (Luke 23:27-29 ESV)

Jesus’ words are remarkably graphic: “They will say, ‘Blessed are the barren and the wombs that never bore and the breasts that never nursed!’” I spent years unable to have children, and this is not the sort of language I’m used to hearing in public—in fact, most people won’t mention the topic at all. If they must, they usually soften it by saying something like “people who weren’t fortunate enough to have children.” Why, then, did I find Jesus’ bluntness so comforting?

I think it’s because He so clearly understood the pain and was willing to name it—my pain, the pain of anybody going through this particular grief, or any grief, really. Jesus is not mealy-mouthed.

Think about your own losses. Have you noticed how people stop mentioning the name of the family member you lost? How they censor their conversation about your major illness, or job loss, or divorce? They want to save you pain—”I don’t want to remind him/her,” they say. But you haven’t forgotten for a single moment. You may even be desperate for a chance to discuss the grief that never leaves your mind—to stop carrying that burden alone, in silence.

It comforts me to know that God understands all my griefs so clearly and intimately—and to see that He is willing to talk about them. He will not say to me or to you, “Stop being so obsessed about it.” He invites you to come to Him—to lean on Him—to talk as much as you want to Him about your burdens and griefs, as often as you like and as graphically. Even if nobody else will be there for you, Jesus will. He is not put off by your suffering. How could He be, when the Bible itself calls Him a “Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief”? (Isaiah 53:3b)

Jesus entered into our grief when He became a Man for our sakes, to suffer and die and rise again. He is not some distant god on a mountaintop somewhere—He’s right here, in the trenches with us. And if He is with us now, we will be with Him when the last day comes and God heals all creation and all griefs—when “He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away” (Revelation 21:4 ESV).

Prayer: Dear Lord, thank You for sharing our pain. Help me as I bear it, until the day comes when You take it away forever. Amen.

This Daily Devotion was written by Dr. Kari Vo.
Originally published in The Lutheran Hour on November 17, 2022
Used by permission from International Lutheran Laymen’s League, all rights reserved

Reflection Questions:
1. Have you ever been desperate to talk to someone about your pain?
2. Why do you think people have such a hard time listening?
3. How has God’s care and attention helped you through a difficult time?


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