We have entered the second week of the 14-day journey of walking out of worry. The purpose of this process is to help downgrade the way worry can paralyze us. If you would like to follow along with us at GracePoint, you can pick up on Day 8 by following the guide here.
Today’s challenge is to attend worship and to think about God’s nearness. One of the things that I have noticed as we are people with seasons of mourning, grief, pain, frustration, bewilderment, etc., we do not necessarily need answers to “why these things are happening” to us as much as we need to know that someone is there with us. Now, if questions can be answered that is a form of “with-ness,” because ultimately, we want to know that we are not alone.
We tend to worry because the future is so uncertain and we want to somehow control something. If we are worrying, at least we are doing something, we think.
I’ve found the most comfort in knowing that someone is there with me. Even know the world is falling apart around me, if someone is there to be with me, it doesn’t seem so scary.
The writer of the NT book of Hebrews highlights this idea about Jesus. The NIV translation (one of the most popular English versions) used to say that Jesus (as High Priest) is able to “sympathize” with us in our weakness, being tempted in every way, yet without sin. (Hebrews 4:15) But, when the updated NIV translation came out in 2011, one of the changes from the 1984 to the 2011 version was to insert “empathize” in place of “sympathize.”
That distinction makes sense in our language. Sympathy, though helpful, goes not go as deep in sharing struggles as empathy does, right? Someone who has not just emotionally and intellectually been there with us but has really been where we have been is helpful in difficult seasons where we are prone to worry.
As you and I worship today, may we fix out eyes on Jesus for many reasons, including the powerful reality that he has been where we have been and he wasn’t crushed, but wonderfully rescued and vindicated by a loving Father from heaven.