I know that it has been quite awhile since my last post. I have wanted to post for quite some time, but have been enduring a rather strong flare up that has left me curled up in a tight ball for days on end. Leaving me little time to accomplish important task like helping with the dishes or assisting with the family budget. By the time I was ready to log onto Word Press my small bank account of energy had been overdrawn and it was not long before I had to turn off the laptop and curl up in a tight ball once more.
The past few months have been far from easy. Filled with long days of pain, fatigue, miserable migraines, the intense body chill of Reynolds, and a slowly increasing heart rate it seemed at times like someone pressed the pause button for my life. Though it has not been easy, I had one great comfort. The sustaining trust that I was not going through the hour of trial alone. My confidence that every groan, every ache, every tear of misery had been marked by Jesus.
In those long hours of suffering I found myself often thinking of what it must have been like for Jesus during those last few hours before the cross. My iron low leaving me cold and struggling to get the strength to walk the few feet from my room to the sofa, I wondered how after being beaten multiple times and having already lost a fair quantity of blood, Jesus endured what must have felt like an eternal walk from Jerusalem to Golgotha. Then, weak and in great physical pain he was hoisted upon a crude cross.
As my body recoiled from the pain, begging for even a few moments of relief, I could only imagine the suffering that Christ endured as his bruised and beaten body baked under the sun. Every twist, every turn, even the slightest breath, must have sent shock waves of pain quivering up and down his raw spine. Curled up in my little corner, feeling like one giant bruise, I could not imagine the fullness of mental and physical agony that my Savior lovingly endured so that I and anyone who was willing to accept His free gift could find entrance into the glorious kingdom of God.
As I laid there, bewailing my immobility, frustrated by so many wasted days, I realized that I barely have the slightest clue of the cost that purchased my salvation. On a good day, when my mind is relatively free from the fog of pain and malnutrition, my insides would recoil in fright from the cross. One look and my heart would melt like butter on a dessert rock, knowing that I was about to face hours of pain and mental torture.
Yet Christ did not come to the cross at the peak of perfect health. In the hour of greatest battle between good and evil. We do not think about it, but at the moment that Satan unleashed the fullness of his force, Christ was nearly as weak and helpless as He was when He was born. The battle in Gethsemane, when faced with the frightful hour that He was not only to bare mankind’s guilt but to have God the Father hide his face, had been fierce. Before His body had time to recover He was in the hands of the soldiers being dragged from one hall to the next. Quietly enduring scene after scene of humiliation as He was mocked, slapped, a crown of slicing thorns pressed into His tender head, and having been repeatedly beaten within a few inches of death it is no wonder that His body gave way under the heavy weight of the cross. Hours without food, His ears assaulted by the roar of the blood hungry crowd, and having lost a great deal of blood it is a wonder that He did not die before reaching the cross.
By the time those rough soldiers hammered the nails into those hands of love, His pulse must have already been racing, His breath coming in short gasps as He struggled with the symptoms of iron deficiency anemia brought on by the rapid blood loss He endured from the multiple strips and crown of thorns that He patiently endured because He loved us more than His own comfort.
And if this were not enough misery, His physical suffering was mild in comparison to the awfulness of what it must have been for that sinless heart to bare the weight of my sin. To think that in this weak state He took my place. He chose to feel the awfulness of the separation from God that I would have known if He had not stepped in and take my place. And yet here I was bemoaning my heavy lot. Here I was frustrated by the fact that I had to endure a few wasted days due to pain and fatigue.
As I looked at the cross, comparing my pain to the pain that Jesus must have felt during those final hours as He battled the snarling forces of the Devil who knowing that this was his final chance for victory must have descended upon that scene with virtual his entire host of evil, I could not help but feel selfish and ashamed. Ashamed that I had given into the temptation to indulge in a dose of self-pity. Ashamed that I had let myself magnify my petty woes, serious as they might be, into something that they should not be. But most of all, ashamed of how little I appreciated the gift that cost my Redeemer so much agony.
Still weighed down by pain and agony, my heart found a reason to rejoice these past few months. As I looked to the cross of Calvary with greater appreciation. As I gained new insight into the love that all eternity will not be enough time to comprehend, I had to pause and say a prayer of thanks. Thanks for the love of Jesus in being willing to endure the pain that I longed begged to shirk. Thanking Him for standing by my lonely bedside and sharing my hour of trial and gathering up the wasted hours and transforming them into food for thought that brought my tear stained heart one step closer to His own. As by faith my aching eyes beheld my Savior enduring my pain, carrying the heaviest part of my burden, so that one day He could welcome me into my eternal home.