Physical pain is one of the most difficult things I believe any human being can cope with. Over seventy percent of suicides are said to have been because of physical pain. And as far back as Biblical times, even the greatest burden God allowed Job to be given by Satan–the one that hurt the most– was boils on his skin.
Most of us are familiar with the story about how Jesus went up to the desert for forty days and fasted and prayed and Satan showed up for a bit with a few temptations, but basically we start hearing it as some kind of endurance test; the challenge Jesus takes can sound more like someone we might see on a combined show of “The Biggest Loser” Meets “The Amazing Race.” Does God, or Jesus, really understand what long-term physical pain is like?
Look more closely at Luke 4:1-2; specifically, where for forty days He was tempted by the devil.. Forty days! Satan was hanging around many hours, every day. Just a snippet of conversation is in the Bible between Satan and Jesus, but I would imagine their many words between each other could easily have filled an entire book on its own.
And yes, Jesus is God, but sitting on that mountain side He was also fully human. Verse 2 says, “He ate nothing during those days, and at the end of them he was hungry.” Hungry, just like you or I would be. He didn’t fast as a human being, but then make His stomach feel all full as God had the power to do. He was tired, I am sure His back hurt, sunburned yet freezing cold at night. He was hungry, thirsty, I am sure He dealt with great physical pain and kept His eyes out for scorpions. it was likely the weakest He had ever been in His lifetime, and this is when Satan kept appearing and trying to entice Him to make Himself more comfortable.
And when the forty days was up, Satan gave up, right? Nope. “When the devil had finished all this tempting, he left him until an opportune time.” (Luke 4:13)
Physical pain is weakening. It weakens our body, our ability to process information in our brain, and it is can tarnish the sparkle in our relationship with Christ. Jesus has walked in your shoes. I know some days it doesn’t feel like it, but don’t base your reality on your feelings. Believe God truly does understand.
Prayer: God, sometimes I feel bitter, as though you didn’t include enough people in the Bible who lived with physical pain and were not healed, so that I have someone I can relate to and emulate. Jesus, You are the One I seek, and You did suffer physically, long before the day You hung on the cross. Open my eyes to what I can learn from You and how You dealt with temptation, like the ones that Satan brings into my life (such as making me forget You always understand what I am going through!)
About the author:
Lisa Copen is the founder of Rest Ministries and she lives in San Diego with her husband and son. She is gradually learning how to balance motherhood, family, illness, and ministry, but she still knows it will be a lifetime lesson. You can see the books she has written, including, Why Can’t I Make People Understand? at the Rest Ministries shop.
You can now read this on your Kindle. Find out more at http://TodaysDevotionOnKindle.com
When you open your bible to look for examples of people who dealt with severe blows in life, where do you turn? Had you remembered reading that Satan was there with Jesus on the mountainside all 40 days?