A Man of Suffering, Familiar With Pain

As a kid, I remember memorizing Isaiah 53 in preparation for Good Friday and Easter. The focus then was more on Christ’s suffering on the cross as He bore our sins.

Christ’s sacrifice on the cross still is the core message of this passage, but as I’ve grown older, I’ve become more tuned in with the little part of verse three that talks about how Jesus was a man of suffering and sorrow, familiar with grief and pain.

boy sitting in a cemetary

Growing up in an inner-city mission environment, I was exposed to a lot of sorrowful people. As I grew older, I inexplicably found myself trying to comfort the grieving — and often feeling inadequate.

And now, I’ve experienced the other side of the equation as I’ve suffered through my own personal loss and pain. I’ve been the one cared for, loved, and comforted. You, my Compassion family, have carried me through my darkest hours.

Through this ministry, I have had my worldview expanded to see that suffering and pain happen to all of us. The cries of those in sorrow and grief come from the rich and the poor. And the cries are frequent and intense.

As much as I take comfort in knowing that Christ secured my eternity through His ultimate sacrifice, I also am very comforted knowing that as a human, Jesus experienced all of the sorrow, pain, suffering and grief that we all go through.

So as you struggle through the dark valleys and desperate disappointments of life, know that you are not alone. Your Lord and Savior experienced everything you, and all of humanity, grieve.

And know that your Compassion family stands as one, on purpose, to love and care for you during those times.

He was despised and rejected by mankind, a man of suffering, and familiar with pain. Like one from whom people hide their faces he was despised, and we held him in low esteem. — Isaiah 53:3, NIV

Prayer: Lord, let us be sensitive to the pain of those You put in our paths on a daily basis. Show us how we can be a vessel, a conduit, for the comfort and love of Your Spirit. Let us be unified and one in our stand against the suffering of this world. Amen!

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2 Comments |Add a comment

  1. Sandy Helgesen March 20, 2012

    We need and covet your prayers for us tonight. Thank-you.

  2. Lisa March 20, 2012

    Mark, I absolutely love this. I love what you say about all of us as “a Compassion family” standing together against suffering. As a Compassion family, we’ve provided heart surgeries, sent kids to the Special Olympics to fulfill their goals. We’ve prayed for each other, encouraged each other, communicated with each other. All of us are in this together — sponsors, kids, employees, advocates — all of us. And what a tremendous force for God! I love it.

    Whatever your personal sorrow has been, do know that many of us pray for you all at Compassion each and every day. You are definitely being lifted up in prayer.

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