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Matthew 14:10,12-13 – A God Who Suffers?

Here is the revelation that is shaping my life today – how often we keep God in the distant and paint Him as one who does not understand what it’s like to be me.
Matthew 14:10,12-13 NLT
[10] So John was beheaded in the prison, [12] Later, John’s disciples came for his body and buried it. Then they went and told Jesus what had happened. [13] As soon as Jesus heard the news, he left in a boat to a remote area to be alone.


Your picture of God is the God you live with. So getting your picture right has a huge impact on your life. The most accurate picture of God is the picture we have when he put on flesh in Jesus. Everything you ever paint, every brush stroke in your picture of God, must be congruent with the picture we have of Jesus. And here we see that God is a God who suffers with us. John is beheaded and when the news reaches Jesus he is grieved and leaves to journey with his grief.
St Francis, an early church father, makes the comment – “the cross was Jesus’ voluntary acceptance of understanding suffering as an act of total solidarity with the pain of the world.” We see this understanding and engagement with our suffering throughout the life and Jesus and this is what God is doing when you are walking through your season of loss and suffering. He suffers with you. Far from the God who is often painted to be the author of suffering, God is the one who knows suffering, who entered into our suffering, and who journeys with you in your suffering, from a posture of walking in your shoes. We can’t say to God “you don’t understand,” as we say to so many other people. This keeps us isolated in suffering and alone. But Jesus points to his life and says “I get it, I get you, and I am with you.”


I will never journey with my pain in isolation from you. I will share these seasons with you as one who understands, stands, and walks alongside me—a fellow journeyer in the suffering of life.


Thank you that you are in no way a distant God, but intimate and understanding. Thank you that life, my life, is not a foreign concept but a lived experience for you. Thank you that from that context you get me. It is beautiful to travel life with someone so amazing but not foreign. Thank you for entering into my suffering because of your love for me. I am never alone.


Meditate – when he heard the news Jesus went to a remote area to be alone.
How often do you keep God at a distance from the path you are walking?
Is Your picture of God in need of some touch-ups?