“Thank You Father that You chose for Me to be born into a poor family. I truly understand the struggles of the lowly.”
“Thank You Father that You allowed Me to face all the temptations common to man. I understand what people endure as the enemy comes against them.”
“Thank You Father that You allowed Me to experience pain and loss and grief and persecution. I know exactly what people feel in the midst of trials.”
“Thank You Father that You said ‘No’ when I asked for the bitter cup to pass. I understand what people feel when their most intense prayers are not a part of Your plan.”
“Thank You Father that You gave Me grace to accept injustice, to endure mocking and beating, to bear the cross, and to die for the world. No man, woman, or child can experience any hardship on earth that I don’t fully understand.”
“Thank You Father for raising Me up on the third day so all who believe in Me can know the incredible future You have in store for all who love You.”
These are thoughts that have crossed my mind in recent days. My friend Daniel and I were invited to share with the family of Knox Martin at a graveside service this past Sunday. Our former student valiantly fought a brain tumor for more than three years. During the struggle, he graduated from UGA and encouraged so many with his positive spirit. He died December 1; Knox was 24 years old.
One of the benefits of being a cancer patient is to understand the plight of others. I understand a lot of what Knox was going through, but not everything. I do not, however, have the best understanding of the pain Eddie, Becky, Riley, and Madelon feel. But Jesus understands, and they are looking to Him as their Good Shepherd.
Eddie and Becky called us the day Knox passed away. In the grief of the moment, Becky shared something I’ll never forget: “God understands how we feel; His Son died at a young age too.”
“For we do not have a High Priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have One who has been tempted in every way, just as we are – yet without sin. Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so we can receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” Hebrews 5:15-16