“He was oppressed and afflicted,
yet he did not open his mouth.”
Isaiah 53:7 (NIV)
Years ago when I first was diagnosed with cancer I happened to meet a friend in the store who had a most compassionate heart. She had heard that the report was cancer and was very upset for me. She asked me, “Gordon how are you doing?” I had not yet learned how to respond to people who asked me that question and so I blurted out, “Well, apart from the fact I have cancer, I am doing fine.”
It was a foolish comment on my part and brought tears to the poor ladies eyes. I was really embarrassed by my thoughtless comment. I stumbled through an awkward conversation and left somewhat the wiser. I learned that people who have a difficulty in life are between a rock and a hard place so to speak. On the one hand you wish to be honest when asked a question and on the other hand you do not want to upset anyone with details of the problem.
What do you do? Do you tell the hard truth to the question asked, or do you simply say that the Lord is good and you are coping very well thank you?
In the case of our Lord, when He was afflicted He did not comment on His suffering until alone with Peter, James and John (Mark 14:33-34, 40) and almost at the very last moment before He died concerning His dreadful thirst. Even then the only reason He spoke of His thirst was to move the soldiers to fulfil a prophecy about His suffering (John 19:28-29, see Psalm 69:21). So on only two occasions it seems, Jesus spoke about His distress.
Most of us find it helpful to have at least a few close family members or friends to whom we can tell the whole story without holding back the details. Counsellors will assure you that it is therapeutic to speak of what troubles you. Keeping everything inside can be damaging to your personality and mental health.
We believe therefore that the silence of Jesus added to His sorrow the night of the betrayal. He knew of the great fright and confusion of His disciples and chose to not add to their already overloaded emotions with detail of His trials.
All of us who have special needs ought to find at least one or two people with whom we are totally honest. These need to be mature people who will maintain confidence with you and not tell others what you say to them. There are even times when we may need to tell the person we trust that we are mixed up, confused, and wondering if God even cares about us.
In various parts of the Bible God’s people are recorded as speaking their minds and confessing doubts concerning their faith or the faithfulness of God. There is a place for us to come before our Creator and express our grief at life and our wish to have a better situation than the one we are in. God listens even while He is preparing that better place for those who love Him.
Talk if you wish about your challenges in life but be certain that the most important person you talk to is the God who made you. He knows more than you imagine about suffering and pain. He will listen if you speak. Why not come to Him today?