How often have you helplessly desired to take the place of a friend or loved one is going through an extremely difficult ordeal, knowing it is not possible? I read where during the Watergate scandals in the 70’s, the governor of Minnesota, Al Quie, offered to do Chuck Colson’s prison time. The law did not allow it. He knew that Colson’s family was already in crisis and would suffer even more once he was in prison. He felt that, since Colson had committed his life to Christ, he would better serve the Lord as well as his family now that his life had been transformed.
Two particular thoughts crossed my mind when I read that story. First: Can you imagine someone loving you enough to be willing to suffer for you so that you don’t have to? Yet, this is what true love really is. Jesus said: “Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” (John 15:13) And this was not a mere expression for we all know that Jesus proceeded to lay down His life for all of us. Second: Christ did what you and I can’t. He took the penalty of death that sin had imposed on us. He suffered the pain and anguish we were destined for. Bottom line: He took our place!
The next time love causes us to want to take the place of a suffering friend or loved one and leaves us feeling helpless because we can’t, lets remember there is Someone who can do so much for them than we ever could. Let’s remember that the One who loves us can do all things. He can heal, comfort, encourage, even relieve the pain or eliminate it altogether. Better still, that kind of help is available 24/7. May your heart be comforted today with the thought that when we are frustrated because we can’t do more for our suffering loved ones, all we need to do is lift them up to the One who will.
God’s promise for today: (Psalm 10:14) “But You have seen, for You observe trouble and grief to repay it by Your hand. The helpless commits himself to You; You are the helper of the fatherless.”