Jesus Knows, Understands, and Cares About Each of Our Stories

“What was that?”

Some of the residents here at the 55+ condo association where we live had a hard time hearing me before masks. But now it’s even worse. I know they didn’t hear me when they change the subject or answer way off base.

Then last week I went for my first Covid vaccine. Same problem of not being heard. At the registration, I had to lean in so she could hear me answer her questions.

After the shot, I had to sit among some spaced chairs for at least 15 minutes in case of reactions. As I sat there, I looked around at the eyes above the masks. Some eyes appeared sad or defeated. Have they ever shared their story or their feelings? Were they heard? Really heard? Heard in a way that they felt believed, understood, and supported? Or did they try to tell someone only to feel rejected because of insensitive remarks, changed subjects, or turned backs? Were their burdens belittled and made heavier with Christian platitudes or judgmental opinions?

Whether it’s physical, mental, or emotional pain, everyone has a need to be heard. Really heard, not just on the surface, but at a deeper level of caring about what they’re going through. A lament for their pain. A coming alongside them with empathy, compassion, and respect.

Do you sometimes not feel heard, supported, and valued?
Do you feel alone in your pain?
Do you wonder if God hears your cries?

Jesus always hears us in the deepest way. He already knows the story behind our eyes and is always ready to give us His full, undivided attention. He reaches out with compassion for the hurting. If we’re overwhelmed by pain and sinking in the storms of life, He reaches down and pulls us up and revives us with His life-giving breath. Again and again. His hand is always extended towards us and He never tires of rescuing us.

Jesus invites us to keep pouring out our hearts to Him, even though answers seem slow in coming. He listens with love, not judgment. Jesus is a Faithful Friend who ALWAYS hears us with unbounded love, compassion, empathy, and understanding. He loves us so much that He laid down His life for us. He cares so deeply about our stories that He hurts when we hurt. When others abandon us, He never, ever will. When others don’t believe us or heap guilt upon us, He knows the truth of our stories and will never condemn us.

"He who did not spare His own Son, but gave Him up for us all—
how will He not also, along with Him, graciously give us all things? 
Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen?
 It is God who justifies. Who then is the one who condemns? No one. 
Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—
is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us."
Romans 8:32-34

"Because of Your great compassion
 You did not abandon them in the wilderness.
 By day the pillar of cloud did not fail to guide them on their path, 
nor the pillar of fire by night to shine on the way they were to take."
Nehemiah 9:19

"And the God of all grace, 
who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, 
after you have suffered a little while,
 will Himself restore you and make you
 strong, firm and steadfast."
1 Peter 5:10

“He counts the stars one and all
He knows how much sand is on the shores
He sees every sparrow that falls
He made the mountains and the seas
He’s in control of everything
Of all creatures great and small

And He knows my name
Every step that I take
Every move that I make
Every tear that I cry
He knows my name…”

Jesus Will Always Be a Faithful Pilot Even When We’re Afraid and Forget His Past Mercies

Photo Courtesy of Pixabay

It’s scary when we feel so powerless and helpless in the storms of life, isn’t it? The coronavirus storm marching like a deadly enemy across the world causing devastating changes and losses for old and young alike. Physically, emotionally, and mentally. On top of other known or hidden trials hitting us as individuals or families.

When the disciples were in a boat with Jesus (Mark 4:35-41), a raging storm whipped up powerful waves that washed over the boat. As the boat filled up, they were sure they would sink into the sea.

Desperation and distress tore at their spirits. Jesus, where are You!?

They cried out, “Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?”

Jesus got up from sleeping on a pillow at the helm, a pilot’s place. He rebuked the wind and waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Immediately it was completely calm.

Jesus asked, “How can you be so afraid? After all you’ve seen, where is your faith?”

They forgot that Jesus was in their boat, so they had nothing to fear, no matter how strong the storm was. They forgot all the miracles they had already witnessed Jesus perform. They forgot Jesus is a Pilot whose plans are always to prosper them.

We can have such short memory spans, can’t we? I I know I do. I easily remember the fear and devastation of past storms in life and forget God’s deliverance and how He has made me stronger in Him through them.

I easily get discouraged and devastated at all the pain in the world today, and forget God’s Almighty power to rescue us from the deepest pit, to get us safely through the most severe storms in life, and to know and care about every detail of our lives.

“Away despair! My gracious Lord doth hear.
Though winds and waves assault my keel,
He doth preserve it: He doth steer,
Ev’n when the boat seems most to reel.
Storms are the triumph of His art:
Well may He close His eyes, but not His heart.”
George Herbert (1633)

I know it’s not always easy, especially when “winds and waves assault” and blindside us, but God is still a faithful Pilot and “storms are the triumph of His art.” Though there may be times when we feel He doesn’t hear our cries, He is still working behind the scenes. Always. He never, ever closes off His heart of love, compassion, and mercy to us.

Even in our weak and frail moments, His love never fails. His unconditional love that doesn’t condemn us even when fear and anxiety coexist with clinging faith in the midst of the storms of life.

“Because of the Lord’s great love
we are not consumed,

 for His compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;
great is Your faithfulness.”
Lamentations 3:22-23

Sometimes It Takes a Storm

by Jessica King

“They were drifting in the darkness,
The sea was all around.
They cried out to the Master,
Please save us or we’ll drown.
Jesus heard the cries,
And mercy stilled the wind.
Sometimes it takes a storm,
To see the sun again.”

Jesus Will Be With Us in the Storms of Life, Even When We Doubt

“Lord, if it is really You, then tell me to meet You on the water,” Peter called to Jesus who walked on the water to be with His disciples.

“Come.”

Peter boldly stepped out of the boat and started walking on the water to Jesus. But then he took his eyes off of Jesus. He focused on the boisterous waves swirling around him.

“Lord, save me!” he cried out as fear and desperation choked him and the sea threatened to swallow him.

Did Jesus let him drown? No, He Immediately reached down His hand and caught him.

I can almost imagine the sorrow in Jesus’ eyes as He said, “You of little faith, why did you doubt?”

I don’t believe Jesus said it to condemn Peter but to plead with him to keep his eyes focused on Him, not on the storm. And He questioned him, so Peter would question and examine himself.

This story (Matthew 14:22-34) has often been used by God to strengthen me. I identify with Peter and his dancing back and forth between faith and fear. And yet, even though Jesus knew Peter would grievously deny Him in the future and even though Peter doubted His power to keep him on top of the water when he saw and felt the power of the storm, Jesus didn’t give up on him. Jesus will never, ever abandon us and let us drown, no matter how much we doubt Him. His faithfulness, love, and compassion are limitless.

It’s so easy to be swallowed up in the storms of life, isn’t it? As I look back on my life, there were many times when wave after wave crashed over me and the undercurrent of doubt and despair sucked me under. 

But God! I know now that He was keeping me from drowning even when I felt like not even He cared or understood me.

Relief from my troubles and despair didn’t always come immediately. Often it was just a quiet strength to help me keep putting one foot in front of the other. In hindsight I see more of the depth of His amazing love and faithfulness that upheld me. How He reached out and pulled me up, how He brought my limp body and spirit to the shore of His grace and breathed life into me, how He carried me when I had no strength to keep going. Again and again… And He still does…

May God strengthen and calm you with His love
and grace in the midst of life’s storms!

Are you in one of life’s storms right now?

What has been the greatest storm in your life?

What verses calm you in the midst of the storm?

Sometimes He Calms the Storm
by Scott Krippayne

“…Sometimes He calms the storm
With a whispered peace be still
He can settle any sea
But it doesn’t mean He will
Sometimes He holds us close
And lets the wind and waves go wild
Sometimes He calms the storm
And other times He calms His child…”