Has Jesus walked a mile in your Nikes? Can He really connect with the pain in your circumstances?
Saturday, on a spontaneous hike, I threaded the eye of a needle—a walkway tunnel that opened up to a gravel path. As I trod the trail at Oaks Bottom Park, gravel crunched beneath my feet. Because I’d left my tennis shoes in the car, I gingerly picked my way through the tough craggy path with only lightweight leather sandals. With each step, I felt every bump, stone, rock, pebble, and grain of dirt beneath my feet.
I thought to myself a hundred times, Darn! Where are those walking shoes when I need them? They’d absorb this stony pain. And then, How are You revealing Yourself here, Lord?
Jesus replied, “I don’t strap on twenty-first century Nike Air Monarch foam midsoles and sprint a trail, kicking up a cloud of dirt. I feel the stones beneath My sandals. And I feel every tough step you take, too.”
A good friend recently lost her precious baby. As I prayed for her, the sharp pebbles beneath her feet became mine. I wanted very badly to protect her from the pain. But since I couldn’t, I prayed she’d too find the place in the spirit realm where Jesus sustains us. Pours water over crinkled, dusty toes.
The Holy Spirit is a brilliant Comforter and Counselor. My mentor, Wendy, calls Him Co-Co. He walks beside you, stays awake with you in your hardest hour, and dwells with you in your moments of excruciating pain. When I relive my infant loss—a stillborn girl in 1991—the pain is still very real. And yet it was through her life and death that Co-Co and I became close friends. He understood. He helped me find words to chronicle my loss. In the still of the night, He cried when I cried. He understood when I lamented the “baby’s breath” that came with flowers. My baby had no breath.
But I learned that Co-Co likes to hang out with you all the time. Even when your dreams take a dive.
If you’re on a seemingly impossible trek, I encourage you to find someone to walk with you—to trust Co-Co to counsel and comfort and mentor you in His love. Together, seek a fresh encounter with His redeeming love.
Friend, when your journey becomes overwhelming, which is more important—for a friend to validate your pain? Or to move you quickly to joy? Why?