Another day at work.
Some days are painful to get through aren’t they?
I set up the broadcast studio three hours ago. I’m not quite half way through my nightly shift. It’s been going fine, but honestly my attitude hasn’t been right.
The thing is I have one of the best jobs in radio. I talk into a microphone to people who can’t see me and I play Christian Contemporary music to comfort, challenge, and inspire them… see? nice job.
The big stress is timing out the shift hour so I play the legal I.D. at the top of each hour. The next top of the hour will be 4am.
The red light blinks on the control board telling me I have an incoming call. I hit the answer button and the recorder begins recording the call automatically.
(It used to be radio announcers had a seven-second-delay switch/ button in case a caller said something inappropriate. That’s no longer necessary because our callers never get on the air live. They are recorded and if an announcer determines the call is one that could be useful, they will edit the conversation—remove most of the uh s, and s, you knows, long pauses, etc. and then, air the conversation at the D. J’s convenience—when they decide to).
I decided this call may have some value for you.
Upbeat I say, “Good Morning, this is Lee… how are you?”
The flat, nasal voice said, “Not good.”
With a little less brightness I said, “Sorry… what’s up?”
Aren’t we all I thought. “Are you suffering physically, emotionally, or spiritually?”
“D: All of the above.”
Smart. I surmised this was going to be a difficult caller. “OK, tell me…” and we had a five minute conversation about suffering (personal pain, hurt, and misery).
During the conversation I got distracted picturing Jesus’ suffering. As Isaiah says (Isaiah 53:3), “He was despised and rejected by mankind, a man of suffering, and familiar with pain. ”
Jesus did good to many, but many others despised him, rejecting him, never giving his message (or his cause) a chance to settle into their heart view. Sad.
How bad was the bitterness and contempt for Jesus?
They made up false stories and spread unfounded rumors continually.
Their opposing purpose intended to get rid of Jesus at any cost.
Jesus was abandoned even by his disciples at the end.
Jesus endured a humble beginning in Bethlehem.
King Herod desired to kill Jesus shortly after his birth.
Mary and Joseph fled to Egypt to protect Jesus from an untimely death.
Jesus suffered hunger and temptation in the wilderness.
Matt Perman asked and wrote:
In What Ways Did Jesus Suffer?
Jesus’ sufferings were more than just physical. He experienced the full range of human suffering, to the greatest extent: He was betrayed: “Judas, would you betray the Son of Man with a kiss?” (Luke 22:48).
He was taken captive: “Then they came up and laid hands on Jesus and seized him” (Matthew 26:50).
He was deserted: “Then all the disciples left him and fled” (Matthew 26:56).
He was falsely accused by those in the crowd: “Now the chief priests and the whole Council were seeking false testimony against Jesus that they might put him to death, but they found none, though many false witnesses cam forward” (Matthew 26:60).
He was spat upon and beat up: “Then they spit in his face and struck him. And some slapped him, saying ‘Prophesy to us, you Christ! Who is it that struck you?” (Matthew 26:67-68).
He was falsely accused by those in authority: “But when he was accused by the chief priests and elders, he gave no answer” (Matthew 27:12).
He was rejected: “The governor again said to them, ‘Which of the two do you want me to release for you?’ And they said, ‘Barabbas.’ Pilate said to them, Then what shall I do with Jesus who is called Christ?’ They all said, ‘Let him be crucified’” (Matthew 27:21-22).
He was scourged: “Then he released for them Barabbas, and having scourged Jesus, delivered him to be crucified” (Matthew 27:26).
He was mocked: “And kneeling before him, they mocked him, saying, ‘Hail, King of the Jews!’ And they spit on him and took the reed and struck him on the head” (Matthew 27:29-30).
He was derided: “And those who passed by derided him, waging their heads” (Matthew 27:39). He died: “And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice and yielded up his spirit” (Matthew 27:50).
Who could know or adequately describe his physical, emotional, or spiritual pain? And Jesus did all this willingly: “He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed” (1 Peter 2:24).
We cannot know or accurately describe Jesus’ physical, emotional, or spiritual pain?
Jesus suffered in ways we will never suffer.
Still, Jesus cared about our suffering, ask the former Gerasenes demoniac who lived alone in a graveyard. Ask the woman who spent all her money with no better health results. Ask synagogue leader, Jarius, whose daughter is alive. (Mark 5).
Read about the woman at the well. Read the story of the leper who returned to give Jesus thanks. Read about the man with a withered hand. Read the story of blind Bartimaeus. Read about Zacchaeus.
You suffer because:
- Your boss dislikes you.
- Your daughter is pregnant and isn’t certain who the father is.
- You have an incurable disease and you’re going to die.
- You’re being bullied.
- Fill-in the blank _______ .
Continuing the conversation I said, “OK I get it, you hurt. Can I ask you, What do you have to do to stop the suffering?”
“I’m not sure.”
“May I suggest you consult with an expert who is the authority on suffering?”
“Who is that?”
“Spend time with this person and let him love you back to health.”
“Yeah fine, what’s his name?”
The caller ended the call.
Jesus confronts you and me in ways no one else can.
Jesus doesn’t shy away from our suffering, saying, “Oh my! I don’t know what to do.”
Jesus is worthy of our trust because Jesus knows what to do. Jesus is present even in all our suffering.
If this is a suffering time for you, spend lots of time with Jesus.
Jesus calms our storm and relieves our chaos… if we choose to let him.
Thanks for listening to Lee’s Nite Radio.