October 27, 2020
Psalm 34:18 KJV
The Lord is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit.
Philippians 3:10 KJV
That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;
Hebrews 4:14-16 KJV
 Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession.  For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.  Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.
Any time I read verses like these, a story sticks out in my mind that deepened my understanding. I had just returned from Christmas break my freshman year of college. Emotions were mixed of sadness that Christmas break was over but excitement to be back with friends. Emotions quickly began to change, however when word began to spread the Jonathon, one of the students who had grown up in the area, had a little sister who had a tragic skiing accident earlier that day and passed away. I vividly remember seeing his heartbreak on his face, but I was completely unable to understand what he was going through. Three years later, our church was having a special speaker, and their oldest child of nine had just died in a car accident. We wanted to do something to show the family love, so we went around the dorms to collect money to purchase gifts for the other kids in the family, children who had lost their oldest brother suddenly and unexpectedly. Most gave their spare change or a dollar if it was available, but I will never forget what happened when we got to Jonathon’s room. Instead of giving his spare change, he took out all the money in his wallet (at least $20), and he gave it for this family. As I meditated on why he would give exponentially more than anyone else, it became very clear that the reason was because of his own personal experiences. He knew exactly what it was to lose a sibling unexpectedly and tragically. Because of this, he was moved more deeply and more willing to help as much as he could.
In another instance one sunny, Friday afternoon in February of 2016, I was driving a bus packed with teens to a youth conference in Dothan, AL, about 3 hours from my home. I received a phone call that I have replayed in my mind hundreds of times since. After already having two heartbreaking miscarriages, Morgan called me, and with an obvious tone of deep sadness and fear, she told me she thought it was happening again. While I have always felt badly when hearing of others having miscarriages, I never understood the pain of a miscarriage until I received a call from a weeping wife. I cannot remember a time in my life where I have felt more helpless than I did in that moment and the next several hours. I was so far from home, at a time when Morgan and I needed each other most. And even if I had been home, I am not a doctor or miracle worker that could have remedied the situation. The only thing I knew I could do was call out to God, Who could be there with my wife when I was not and Who could heal and restore where I could not. Thankfully, later that afternoon, I received a phone call that relieved my fears and feelings of helplessness. Easton would be ok! Now when I hear about a couple having a miscarriage, while I certainly cannot pretend to know how they feel, I know how painful a loss it is for us and can relate in a much deeper way.
It’s a tremendously wonderful reality that God knows exactly what we are going through, because He has gone through it as well. God knows our pain because He has experienced it Himself, and it is always those who have experienced your pain who are more willing and more qualified to help. I also realize that Philippians mentions a fellowship of suffering. While we are not the first to experience pain and heartbreak, we must recognize through that pain that not only does He know how we feel, but we know a little bit more intimately how God feels. While He helps us through our pain, our pain should help us grow closer to our precious Saviour than ever before, and that is exactly where we need to be, as close to Him as possible. Christ has experienced the pains of hunger, the lack of wealth, the exhaustion of life, the pain of death, and the hurt of betrayal. God knows what it’s like to lose a child, to be taken advantage of, and any difficulty we may go through, to us He can relate, and He both is qualified and ready to help. During these times, we can draw closer to God in ways that we never knew because we can understand what He went through and He knows what we are going through.
— Eli Faulds