Chronic pain is new for me. I’ve been living with it for over a year now, which I know is not very long. In moments of intense pain, it feels like I’ve had this pain for a lifetime and that it will never go away. I don’t know if it will last my lifetime, but I know who will be with me forever: Jesus.
Isaiah 53:4-5 reads: “Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed.”
Jesus literally took on our sins and carried his cross so we can be free from sin and its burden. Verse 4 says that Jesus “carried our sorrows.” He was brutally sacrificed so he could carry our sorrows. As a result, we can have peace and rest for our souls.
Matthew 8:17 states, “He took up our infirmities and carried our diseases.” He carried his cross to his death (John 19:17). Jesus did this so we can have freedom from the various pains and burdens that come from living in this world.
When my leg is shaking, and shocks like lightning bolts of pain enter my body, I can have peace. Jesus knows my burdens and sorrows. He knows my struggle to have a righteous response to pain: clinging to Jesus instead of giving into self-pity or defeat.
In moments of desperation or need close your eyes and imagine Jesus carrying your burdens of pain, worry, doubt, fear or anger. Breathe, and ask for that rest only Jesus can bring. In moments when the pain in my legs is intense I practice this as I remember that rest only comes through Christ.
I remember reading Matthew 11:28-30 as a single disciple. I desired rest from long work weeks and from heartache. I also remember reading this passage as a new mom. I desired literal rest from sleepless nights and breast feeding troubles. And now as I read this passage, it brings me peace. Yet, it is hard to believe that rest can come through pain.
Remember Jesus. Remember who he is: what he lived for and what he died for—including rest for your soul.
Remember the cross as Jesus suffered, yet remained humble, gentle, obedient, and trusting in his Father.
Jesus, the Son of God, desires to take on my burdens and troubles so I can experience true rest.
Jesus is our “burden bearer.” Allow him to personally take your burdens. This is both a humbling and amazing thought. The Savior of the world cares about my troubles and desires to free me from the emotional and mental pains these troubles bring (John 16:33).
The pains and troubles of this world are real and often distracting. Yet we have Jesus, our Savior, so that these pains do not have to be debilitating.
I’m in awe, unworthy, and yet grateful that God chose me and doesn’t give up on me. I have moments when I want to give up the fight and give in to self-pity and mental defeat. I get tired of fighting and disheartened by the chronic pain. Even in those moments, Jesus does not give up on me. He reminds me of Scriptures like John 16:33. He is my rest in the midst of troubles or hardships. I can be at peace with my situation and look for the miracles in the situation.
It is a daily battle. Yet, with Jesus we can be victorious! Think and mediate on the words “spiritual rest” and “burden bearer.”
Will you let Jesus carry your burdens and deliver you from pain? Only then can you experience true rest.