Saturday, July 26, 2008

To Be Understood or to Understand?

"If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross and, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it." St. Matthew 16: 24-25

There are many times when my heart has been so burdened with things, hard to understand. Even I don't fully understand. Sometimes I long for someone to understand. "Why?", I ask myself, "Why does it matter who understands?"Sometimes we can feel so all alone. Then I come to that sweet hour of prayer, and all I can do is cry, and I know that my LORD understands. He understands better than I do. Yet in our human, we sometimes long for that human comfort; a sounding board...someone who will just listen.

Then I realize, "wait a minute! I am wrapped up in myself, and that makes a very small package." I look for others who have needs and when I sit and visit with them and they have a chance to be understood by me, my own little cross shrinks as I realize how I am not alone in this battle. I am sometimes amazed at the trials others are suffering through or have suffered through. The following well known prayer comes to my mind often when I feel my heart crying out for God to please send me someone who will understand:

"LORD, make me an instrument of your peace; where there is hatred, let me sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light; and where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console; to be understood as to understand; to be loved as to love; for it is in giving that we receive, it is in pardoning that we are pardoned, and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life."
Author Francis of Assisi

Even when I am crying out to Jesus, I am reminded how little I understand all that he suffered through for me. The persecution, false accusations, loved ones rejecting him, friends forsaking him and misunderstanding him, imprisonment, a horrible beating (I remember, as it were, a small portion of what it's like to be beaten and its very scarey) people mocking him, hating him, and ultimately killing him in a very barbaric and humiliating way. Even before the cruciftion, how he died to himself and became poor, no where to lay his head; how he hungered, felt the strength of temptation and ultimately tasted death and seperation from God. All this, so he could understand us, and succour us in our time of need.

Oh, what a beautiful Savior! May God help me die to self and to ever seek to understand rather than to be understood!

Oh to understand! Jesus understands all we go much better than we. We only sip a very tiny portion of the cup that he drank.


Felecia said...

Tis true tis true....I'm sure thankful that at least Jesus understands us. :D

Sacramento said...

A trial I have been going through for over a year now had brought me to write down and post at my desk part of this devotion that was very helpful to me, that I will share.

"Be content to live unkown for a little while, and to walk your weary way through the fields of poeverty, or up the hills of affliction; for by-and-by you shall reign with Christ - to behold His glory and to share His joy."

And from that, I gained the perspective and a thought I repeat to myself when appropriate, "Do not seek for people to understand you - but live that they may truly understand God."

It helps me to keep the right perspective, as you are in this post, that we're just passing through and we matter not...He matters, and pointing souls to Him...

The enemy has no new tricks. And God has all the right answers, the full understanding and the grace for us. Thank the Lord we're on the winning side!