You understand

With thanks to Walter Rane

Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows
(John 16:33; NLT).

1. You understand our struggles
And misfortunes;
You understand our failures,
And our fears.

2. You understand our losses
And afflictions;
You understand our anguish,
And our tears.

3. You understand our secrets
And temptations;
You understand our lives –
Each bitter pill.

4. You understand the tests
We must endure, Lord,
For you have shared them all –
And share them still.


References

1. He made their hearts, so he understands everything they do (Psalm 33:15; NLT).

The Lord searches every heart and understands every desire and every thought (1 Chronicles 28:9; NIV).

2. When Mary arrived and saw Jesus, she fell at his feet and said, “Lord, if only you had been here, my brother would not have died” […] Then Jesus wept. The people who were standing nearby said, “See how much he loved him!” (John 11:32,35-6; NLT).

Being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground (Luke 22:44; NIV).

3. He knows the secrets of every heart (Psalm 44:21; NLT).

Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, left the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, where for forty days he was tempted by the devil (Luke 4:1-2; NIV).

If it is possible, let this cup of suffering be taken away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine (Matthew 26:39; NLT).

They also gave me gall for my food, and for my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink (Psalm 69:21; NKJV).

4. This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all the same testings we do (Hebrews 4:15; NLT).

In all their suffering he also suffered (Isaiah 63:9; NLT).

Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows (Isaiah 53:4; NIV).

Anguish (written for M)


How long must I struggle within my soul,
with sorrow in my heart every day?

(Psalm 13:2; NLT).

1. Son of God,
We cry to you,
For life is very bleak.

2. Have pity on us, Lord,
For we’re in anguish,
Sick, and weak.

3. Touch us,
And forgive our sins,
For we belong to you,

4. And help us
To forgive all those
Who sin against us, too.

5. Heal us, Lord, in body,
And in mind, and heart,
And soul,

6. For you, Lord, are the only one
Whose touch
Can make us whole.


References

1. I cry to you for help when my heart is overwhelmed (Psalm 61:2; NLT).

My spirit is crushed, and my life is nearly snuffed out (Job 17:1; NLT).

2. Jesus, Master, have pity on us (Luke 17:13; NIV).

Lord, see my anguish! (Lamentations 1:20; NLT).

Have compassion on me, Lord, for I am weak. Heal me, Lord, for my bones are in agony (Psalm 6:2; NLT).

3. Jesus touched the sick man and healed him (Luke 14:4; NLT).

Forgive us our sins (Matthew 6:12; NLT).

Whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord (Romans 14:8; NLT).

4. Forgive others, and you will be forgiven (Luke 6:37; NLT).

5. He forgives all my sins, and heals all my diseases (Psalm 103:3-4; NLT).

He restores my soul (Psalm 23:3; NKJV).

6. Moved with compassion, Jesus reached out and touched him. “I am willing,” he said. “Be healed!” Instantly the leprosy disappeared, and the man was healed (Mark 1:41-2; NLT).

Be with us


In all their suffering he also suffered
(Isaiah 63:9; NLT).

1. Be with us in our darkness, Lord,
And let us see your light.

2. Be with us in our weakness, Lord,
And show us all your might.

3. Be with us in our straying, Lord,
And guide us to your way.

4. Be with us in our anguish, Lord,
And comfort us today.


References

1. Though I sit in darkness, the Lord will be my light (Micah 7:8; NLT).

God is light (1 John 1:5; NIV).

2. Have compassion on me, Lord, for I am weak (Psalm 6:2; NLT).

He is mighty in both power and understanding (Job 36:5; NLT).

3. All of us, like sheep, have strayed away. We have left God’s paths to follow our own (Isaiah 53:6; NLT).

Jesus told him, “I am the way” (John 14:6; NLT).

4. Lord, see my anguish! (Lamentations 1:20; NLT).

He shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you forever (John 14:16; KJV).

You’re one with us


In all their suffering he also suffered
(Isaiah 63:9; NLT).

He is our God forever and ever,
and he will guide us until we die (Psalm 48:14; NLT).

1. You’re one with us in sorrow, Lord,
When you seem far away.

2. You’re one with us in heartbreak,
When we can no longer pray.

3. You’re one with us in loneliness,
For you are always near.

4. You’re one with us in suffering,
In anguish, pain, and fear.

5. You’re one with us when hope is gone,
And we can’t sense your grace.

6. You’re one with us in darkness,
When we cannot see your face.

7. You’re one with us in dying,
And you share our final breath.

8. You’re one with us for evermore,
In birth, in life, in death.


References

1. Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows (Isaiah 53:4; NIV).

Why are you so far away when I groan for help? (Psalm 22:1; NLT).

2. You have taken away my companions and my loved ones (Psalm 88:18; NLT).

3. I know that the Lord is always with me. I will not be shaken, for he is right beside me (Psalm 16:8; NLT).

4. Being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground (Luke 22:44; NIV).

He ordered Jesus flogged with a lead-tipped whip, then turned him over to the Roman soldiers to be crucified (Mark 15:15; NLT).

5. My God, my God, why have you abandoned me? (Psalm 22:1; NLT).

6. Clouds and thick darkness surround him (Psalm 97:2; NIV).

Darkness is my closest friend (Psalm 88:18; NLT).

Now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then we will see face to face (1 Corinthians 13:12; NRSV).

7. Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me (Psalm 23:4; KJV).

Then Jesus shouted, “Father, I entrust my spirit into your hands!” And with those words he breathed his last (Luke 23:46; NLT).

8. Everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ and become one with him (Philippians 3:8-9; NLT).

Whoever is united with the Lord is one with him in spirit (1 Corinthians 6:17; NIV).

I am with you always, even to the end of the world (Matthew 28:20; WEB).

I knew you before I formed you in your mother’s womb (Jeremiah 1:5; NLT).

Our lives are in his hands (Psalm 66:9; NLT).

The dust returns to the ground it came from, and the spirit returns to God who gave it (Ecclesiastes 12:7; NIV).

Weak and mortal

You are the temple of the living God (2 Corinthians 6:16; NLT).

1. My flesh is weak
And mortal, Lord;
It will return to dust.

2. My mind is full
Of anguish, Lord,
Making it hard to trust.

3. My heart is sad
And lonely, Lord,
Full of despair and sin,

4. But my soul is at peace
Forever, Lord,
Because it is you, within.

References

1. He knows how weak we are (Psalm 103:14; NLT).

He remembered that they were merely mortal (Psalm 78:39; NLT).

You were made from dust, and to dust you will return (Genesis 3:19; NLT).

2. My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me, so far from my cries of anguish? (Psalm 22:1; NIV).

3. My soul is downcast within me (Psalm 42:5; NIV).

Darkness is my closest friend (Psalm 88:18; NLT).

From the depths of despair, O Lord, I call for your help (Psalm 130:1; NLT).

In my mind I really want to obey God’s law, but because of my sinful mature I am a slave to sin (Romans 7:25; NLT).

4. The Lord is peace (Judges 6:24; NLT).

There is […] one God and Father, who is over all and in all and living through all (Ephesians 4:5-6; NLT).

Shadow

Hello everyone. I’ve been thinking a lot about our shadow side recently – all the parts of ourselves we prefer to hide, ignore and forget. If we are to become whole, we need to face and accept them all, sharing them with God, who already knows everything about us. I find it fascinating that even Jesus had a shadow side, which he had to face and accept during his time on earth – hence today’s prayer.

1. Even you, Lord,
Had a shadow:
Anger, tears, temptation.

2. Even you, Lord,
Had a shadow:
Fears you couldn’t share.

3. Even you, Lord,
Had a shadow:
Sorrow, grief, impatience.

4. Even you, Lord,
Had a shadow:
Anguish, dread, despair.

References

1. When Jesus saw what was happening, he was angry with his disciples (Mark 10:14; NLT).

Jesus wept (John 11:35; NLT).

Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted there by the devil (Matthew 4:1; NLT).

2. He was in such agony of spirit that his sweat fell to the ground like great drops of blood (Luke 22:44; NLT).

3. Then he [Jesus] said to them, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death” (Matthew 26:38; NIV).

Jesus said, “You faithless and corrupt people! How long must I be with you? How long must I put up with you? (Matthew 17:17; NLT).

4. My God, my God, why have you abandoned me? (Mark 15:34; NLT).

Sorrow ends

He will wipe every tear from their eyes,
And there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain.
All these things are gone forever
(Revelation 21:4; NLT).

1. Father God,
Forget our sins –
Sorrow ends
When love begins.

2. Help us to forgive
Each foe –
Hatred ends
When love can flow.

3. Wipe away
Our grief and fear –
Heartbreak ends
When love draws near.

4. Heal our sickness,
Mend our lives –
Sadness ends
When love arrives.

5. Purge the craving
Of our wills –
Anguish ends
When love rebuilds.

6. End our wars
And make us sane –
Evil ends
When you, Lord, reign.

References

1. I will forgive their wickedness, and I will never again remember their sins (Jeremiah 31:34; NLT).

2. Love your enemies! Do good to those who hate you. Bless those who curse you. Pray for those who hurt you (Luke 6:28; NLT).

3. God will wipe away every tear from their eyes (Revelation 7:17; NIV).

4. He […] heals all my diseases (Psalm 103:3; NLT).

5. The world offers only a craving for physical pleasure, a craving for everything we see, and pride in our achievements and possessions (1 John 2:16; NLT).

6.Nation will no longer fight against nation, nor train for war anymore (Isaiah 2:4; NLT).

A Gethsemane experience

On the day of my mastectomy, as I waited on a trolley outside the anaesthetic room, I was suddenly overwhelmed by a profound terror of suffering and death, just as Jesus was in the Garden of Gethsemane. I felt completely helpless, despairing and alone, shaking uncontrollably with cold and fear. 

Then my surgeon entered the room in blue scrubs. She must have seen at once how distressed I was, because she came straight over to me, putting her arms around me and bending down to lay her head gently on my chest. She seemed like an angel of comfort and strength. I managed to whisper, through chattering teeth, “I’m so frightened!” She didn’t even speak, but held me as I sobbed helplessly. 

After a time, realising how cold I was, she moved to stand behind me, rubbing my arms to warm me, until I was pushed into an ante-room and quickly, skilfully anaesthetised. 

That evening, after the surgery, I wept again. I felt as if I had experienced something of what Christ suffered in Gethsemane, just as those gazing at a representation of Jesus on the cross occasionally undergo the pain and utter powerlessness of his crucifixion. 

Next day, however, I realised that rather than we ordinary mortals sometimes sharing what Jesus experienced, it was, in fact, he who fully shared our primeval, human terror in the face of imminent suffering and death.

Of course, there are major differences between my experience and his. I was confronting my profound fear of anaesthesia and surgery solely for my own benefit. Jesus, on the other hand, was facing betrayal, torture and death so our sins could be forgiven. I pray that I will never cease to thank him for what he faced and endured for our sake.

 

References

My heart pounds in my chest. The terror of death assaults me. Fear and trembling overwhelm me, and I can’t stop shaking (Psalm 55:4-5; NLT).

They went to the olive grove called Gethsemane, and Jesus said, “Sit here while I go and pray.” He took Peter, James and John with him, and he became deeply troubled and distressed. He told them, “My soul is crushed with grief to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.” He went on a little further and fell to the ground. He prayed that, if it were possible, the awful hour awaiting him might pass him by (Mark 14:32-5; NLT).  

Then an angel from heaven appeared and strengthened him. He prayed more fervently, and he was in such agony of spirit that his sweat fell to the ground like great drops of blood (Luke 22:43-4; NLT).

In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace (Ephesians 1:7; NIV).

God proves his love for us in that while we were still sinners Christ died for us (Romans 5:8, NRSV).