I think one of the greatest misconceptions I have about Jesus is remembering He was fully human. I have no problem remembering He’s fully God — the walking on water sort of solidified that for me — but I have trouble believing that during His time on Earth, He felt every bit of human as I do on a regular basis.
Every bit? Every sharp shard of sadness? Every blush of embarrassment? Every rolling wave of grief — some nights so strong I tremble beneath my covers?
The rolling waves have been fiercer lately. Waves of confusion, of grief, and of deep, relentless gratitude. I wake up each morning and, for the most part, think, “I get to have another day here.” I flip open my notebook and jot down what I’m grateful for while my coffee brews — like a blue sky or money to pay my rent or meeting a friend for coffee. I am truly grateful for each day.
It’s not that I’m afraid to die because I’m not. I’m amped to see Jesus face-to-face, to feel the kind of embrace my small mind cannot currently fathom. I am excited to see my friend Tat again. I think because of her and her death, I am more grateful for this life I have been given.
But even in the midst of this genuine gratitude, there is sorrow. Gratitude doesn’t cancel out pain. You can be grateful and still be sad.
I am astonished at how each day I can wake up struck by thanksgiving to be alive in a world so vibrant, and yet simultaneously devastated by the tragedy that seems to arrive to a new person each day.
On Monday as I drove to work, I was overcome by grief for all that is broken in the world. Grey clouds were my company on my hour-long commute. The rain on my windshield were tears I did not have in me to cry. I mourned Tat’s death, but I mourned more than that. I mourned sexual assault and divorce and cancer. I mourned political division and car accidents and broken dreams. I mourned the people who died in Flight 752 weeks ago.
I mourned Tat’s children who will never be born.
I arrived at work, walked into the newsroom, and saw bad news being broadcast on every screen in the building.
And then, I thought of Jesus. Although when Jesus walked on the Earth He didn’t experience the twenty-four-hour news cycle, He saw deep brokenness every day — far more than I’ve ever seen. I don’t know how He could’ve stood it. Every other minute, another person was begging Him to come — to awaken their dead daughter, or touch their blind eyes, or stop the decade of bleeding within them. Jesus wasn’t a journalist, and yet He encountered far more stories of sadness than I will ever encounter.
So I remember Him. I remember Him — not just as the Son of God — but as human Jesus, as Jesus who felt compassion and anger and sadness, as Jesus whose friend died. He knows this sorrow. He knows this pain. He loved someone and then they died. His tears must have felt a lot like mine — hot, burning, and streaming at the most unwelcome times.
If Jesus was fully human, then He knows just how I feel.
The best part of this equation is that He was fully human so He knows how I feel, but He’s fully God so He knows how to comfort.
So now, when I think about Jesus, not only do I think about the God I love, but I think about the Man who understands me.
A Man who felt cold rain on His shoulders when the skies opened.
A Man with skin that scraped when He fell.
A Man who cried when His friend died.
May God’s Presence Bring You Comfort. says
“Gratitude doesn’t cancel out pain. You can be grateful and still be sad.”
“He was fully human so He knows how I feel, but He’s fully God so He knows how to comfort.”
~ Yes, Yes, and Amen.
Aliza, I’m so very sorry for the loss of your friend Tat. May God Strengthen You today and always, Amen.
Aliza Latta says
Thank you so much, Bomi. Hugs!
Bev @ Walking Well With God says
Sometimes the world is just too much to bear. I see what we do to each other – a world that takes offense at every turn because we have lost our identity in Christ and our faith in God. I believe God’s heart must grieve immensely as He sees the evil we have brought upon ourselves when we let sin in back in Eden. God loves us so much that He gave us His Son to be able to empathize, sympathize, and have compassion upon us because He has walked in our shoes and felt every emotion and feeling including betrayal. God gave us the Holy Spirit because He knew that, in Christ’s absence, we’d need a counselor and a comforter. God gives us Himself to remind us that we are victorious overcomers. He gives us everything thing we need, including grace, to get through whatever this world throws at us. Praise that He meets us on every level for our every need. Praying for you as you continue to grieve Tat’s passing…
Barbara Rothman says
Your words are so well put & I know you experience God’s love & comfort on a daily basis. We have gone thru so much in our lives & with my husband of 45 years we’ve been through tremendous blessings as well as deep loss. I don’t know how people can even survive without the love of Jesus. I was raised in a Jewish family & it was very loving. Once I accepted Christ at 16 years old I tried to share my faith with my family but they totally rejected Jesus. Both of my parents have passed away but I have a brother who I talk with everyday, it’s hard sharing with him so I ask God to bring opportunities that will allow me to share about God. My son’s & one of my daughter-in-laws will share with Larry & one even bought him a Jewish Bible! My husband’s oldest brother passed away on November 23rd & we’re trying to reach out to his wife who is not a believer. It’s tough & she’s really struggling emotionally. I sent her a devotional from this site recently that I thought would be of comfort to her but she wasn’t very receptive.
Lord bless you Bev in your path to reach others with God’s love. You are very encouraging in your writing & I’m sure as a friend to many!
Beth Williams says
It is super hard for most to comprehend that Jesus was fully human. Sure He healed many, walked on water & did miracles. John 11:33-35 When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come along with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in spirit and troubled. “Where have you laid him?” he asked.
“Come and see, Lord,” they replied. Jesus wept. His friend Lazarus died. He knew that Lazarus was to be raised from dead, but still had compassion for Mary. When He saw Mary’s tears He also wept. Such human emotions felt there. Like you I grieve the loss of innocence in our world today. The disunity, hatred, sinfulness of our culture. It’s almost like Sodom & Gomorrah. He understands our pleas to come quickly & take us home with Him. Thankful for a great loving, merciful God whose son was fully God yet fully human able to feel all our emotions.
Thank you. I recently read a paragraph in Jan Karon’s book, “Somewhere safe with someone good” that resinated also. Father Tim weeps over it all. I believe we join Jesus’ heart when we weep over this lost and broken world, because of sin and death and our desperate need for something better. I am sorry for your loss. Thank you for your words.
I am so impressed with the level of depth you have in your writing and the deep friendship you had with your friend, Tat. Love when you write!
be encouraged ! while there are such deep issues in this fallen grey murky world there are small miracles too ! my heart was encouraged as I watched a christian movie and it pointed out all the hidden gifts / miracles we often miss as we walk thru our days. I am a grateful person but in many days of sadness over my own friends death I missed these small miracles..acts of goodness and love.
the media in this world screams horrid facts at us daily..all the evils and tragedy all in one place fed to us all at once !! oh how to process that..
so here’s my thing.. I notice the very small wonderful things . while it won’t cancel out this grief it brings our hearts up to a better place of simple joy.
I appreciate that God said we should be as simple as children , because honesty if we are too serious in. this dark world it will tear us apart and deepen our pain.
my heart prayers for you.
Dawn Ferguson-Little says
There is world out there that need a Savior. Need to know it is loved. We put on the New we say did that person do that. We are not to ask way. Just pray. There is world hurting. People who don’t know where too turn. Then turning to Drink Drugs etc. Because they think no one cares. We are nor to just are talk about that person are wonder why they have turned to Drink or Drugs. Ours is not to judge. Just be the hands and feet of Jesus and pray for them and love them. They at the time might not want to hear us. But we have to keep loving them and crying on to Jesus for them. Be thank full. We never go to be like them. That Jesus found us. We know him as our Saviour. If we did go down a wrong path that Jesus help us get clean. When we cried on to him. He heard our cries. Put his arms around us. Said my child I will help you get free. Jesus did. If you never got like that and are saved be thank full. Be very thank full you are able to pray for people who are going down the wrong path. That they will see the light get the right help. Come to know Jesus as their Savior. Go on to tell their stories of how Jesus answered your prayers and they are free today. Because you cried on to Jesus for them. Lets cry as Christians for the hurting in our world to know Jesus. Not judge them. If they take Drink or Drugs etc. As in Jesus eyes it wrong for us to Judge them. Love them like Jesus does. As they are his Children too just like you and me. Love today’s reading. Love Dawn Ferguson-Little
Beautiful, Aliza. Just beautiful. Thank you for sharing ❤️
I’m so sorry about your friend Tat’s passing and pray you’ll be comforted daily….
Your post is awesome and made me think of friendship when we ask “do you know what I mean?” Well, Jesus ALWAYS knows what we mean – He gets us, He knows us and loves us despite ourselves…gray days or sunny days…He’s got this!
Aliza, I love your writings, God truly blessed you with this talent, his gift! I remember your story about Tat previously, it touched my heart. ♡God blessed her with a friend in you too! January is so hard for me as that’s when I lost my Dad, it’s been 20 years but I still miss him and hurt, he was 66. My Mom has dementia and calls me each night asking me where he is. Please remember me in your prayers as I will remember you too. God bless your writings and you!
Becky Keife says
Such beautiful and wise and hard-earned words of wisdom and insight here. Thank you, Aliza. Thank you for helping us see and know our Jesus and our own hearts even better. xx