Category: When Jesus You And Pain Meet
What pain is staring you in the face? For one father in the Bible, his pain was the image of his dying child.
With each step he took, he felt the pain of the possibility of losing his child. That possibility was staring him in right in the face. It would have been a long and painful journey when he traveled to see Jesus!
This article contains a few lessons to remember when Jesus stretches your faith in the face of pain.
The Story of a Hurting Father
John 4:46 So He (Jesus) came again to Cana in Galilee, where he had made the water wine. And at Capernaum there was an official whose son was ill.
(From Cana to Capernaum was about a days walk)
V 47 When this man heard that Jesus had come from Judea to Galilee, he went to him and asked (BEGGED ) him to come down and heal his son, for he was at the point of death.
(This father’s request came from one of the deepest pains a parent can experience)
V 48 So Jesus said to him, “Unless you see signs and wonders you will not believe.”
(You need to see things before you believe in Me and My work. You have limited perspective)
V 49 The official said to him, “Sir, come down before my child dies.”
(The man must have felt: Helpless. Desperation for self and child. Responsibility for his family. Jesus is the only hope)
V 50 Jesus said to him, “Go; your son lives.” The man believed the word that Jesus spoke to him and went on his way.
(Jesus said some powerful words. “Go”—not with me, just — “Go; your son lives”)
The father longed to hear those words, but not right then. He would have expected to hear those words after Jesus traveled back with him, while Jesus was standing in his house, after Jesus laid His hands on his son, but not here—not now—not when the pain was so fresh, so deep, and hope so far from reality.
When Jesus said, “Go your way, your son lives” He was saying, “Yes, I will heal your son but, walk by faith until you see My will revealed to you.”
The father walked alone in faith until the next day.
Can you imagine how the time would have passed? We are told that the father believed the words of Jesus (so he was walking in faith), but each step home was not what he had pictured.
He may have thought he would have Jesus walking beside him—but now he is alone! Yes, surrounded by his entourage, but in his thoughts, very alone.
He may have thought he would be having encouraging conversations with Jesus, but now four words were going through his mind: “Go, your son lives.”
Yesterday, those four words had filled him with faith in Jesus and hope of what He was doing for his dying son. Today, those four words may have been replaced with questions: “How could I leave without demanding that Jesus come back with me?…What will I say …What will I say to my son?…Should I turn around, go back, and negotiate with Jesus so that he will do things my way?”
In the midst of the father’s loneliness and crowded thoughts, he took one obedient step at a time to his home. In the midst of doubt or self-defeating thoughts, he would have hung onto the four words that Jesus gave him, “Go, your son lives.” He choose to believe.
V 51-53 Then, up ahead he saw one of his servants approaching him. “Why is he coming?... It must be news about my son... What happened? ... Is my son dead?... What about what Jesus said?... Don’t jump to conclusions... Control your anxiety... One step at a time... Wait for the news... Don’t start thinking or living in an unconfirmed reality… Wait until you hear what he says...”
The servant is now close enough to see his face and hear his voice…with a beaming face the servant yells, “YOUR SON LIVES!” The word used implies a sense of dependency.
This helpless father went to the one who helpless people go to, Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
What can we learn from this father’s experience with pain?
· He experienced one of the deepest pains a parent can experience.
· He was desperate enough to stay on his journey until he found real help.
· He was desperate enough to express his need for help.
· He felt the responsibility of his child and family depending upon him.
· His wealth and position were useless in this situation
· Jesus was his only hope.
· His hope transformed into faith.
· He found strength in obedience.
· His life was changed.
What can we learn from Jesus’ response?
· My perspective is limited.
· My trust is often stretched.
· I am often asked to walk alone and with very little insight.
· I may have to wait for confirmation.
· The answer may not be what I expect.
· Whatever pain is staring you in the face will fade away when the words of Jesus are obeyed in faith.
Most stories include pain.
There is another story when our Heavenly Father had to stare pain in the face. This Father saw His son die a pain filled death. Luke 23 describes the agony that Jesus suffered. It also reveals the intimacy between the Father and the Son. (Luke 23:34, 56)
When you allow God to stretch your faith in the midst of your pain, you will see a lot more than the pain that is staring you in the face. You will see your Heavenly Father.
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