A seventh grader in my Sunday school class had an aha moment when I told the class Jesus experienced the same temptations and trials we face.
When Andi’s realization hit, I could almost see the light bulb over her head. She got it. Jesus lived with typical teenage struggles too. Granted, Jesus did not have internet access, automobiles, or smart phones. Yet the nature of His difficulties, the mental and emotional stresses, and the human desires equaled ours. Andi’s head shot up. With question marks shooting from her eyes, she asked, “You mean Jesus went through puberty?”
Although the Bible clearly tells us Jesus was tempted like the rest of us, we tend to spiritualize His life on earth. Somehow we think He was above all the nitty gritty we face. In the Bible, we read of Jesus lying in the manger, receiving gifts from wise men, and impressing religious leaders with His questions as a child. The next thing we know, He’s an adult.
While surrounded by a different time and tradition, Jesus has been there and done that. He understands and identifies with our daily dilemmas.
When we’re so physically, spiritually, and emotionally spent that our bodies quiver from exhaustion, remember Jesus felt that too. As He agonized in prayer before His crucifixion, His sweat poured like drops of blood.
If sorrow engulfs us to the point we drop in desperation and despair, remember Jesus wept when Lazarus died.
If the unfairness of others overwhelms us, never forget Jesus needed time alone after Herod beheaded John the Baptist.
Above all, when suffering hits us full force, picture Jesus on the cross, held there by our sins.
Anytime we feel alone and wonder who will understand or how we can continue, remember Jesus has already been there. He hears our cries and stands ready to walk with us. He holds us up in our lowest moments. He offers hope when life seems hopeless. And He will celebrate with us when our hardships cease.
Jesus knows. Jesus cares. With His help, you will endure.
(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)
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Diana Derringer is author of Beyond Bethlehem and Calvary: 12 Dramas for Christmas, Easter, and More! She writes for several publications and enjoys traveling with her husband and serving as a friendship family to international university students. She offers life lessons from English expressions at dianaderringer.com.