Faith and Life: Pain as one of life's lessons

I am learning in life to accept pain as something I will learn from. I realize that most of us are familiar with pain. And as Christians, we are familiar with the fact that Jesus suffered just as we do.

Scripture tells us so. Yet, he was without sin — differentiating Jesus (God) from us (humans).

When I think of Jesus’ pain, I often reflect upon his physical suffering on the cross and the fact that he was not believed to be the Messiah by so many. But sometimes I honestly think that some minor issue of an emotional nature that I am experiencing may not be familiar to Jesus, that Jesus may not have actually experienced that particular thing.

It was this past week that I actually stumbled across some pretty significant emotional pain. I felt abandoned by someone who is very close to me. It came so fast and so intensely that I literally sat stunned, asking God what happened.

I knew I needed to trust God with my pain, yet I thought maybe Jesus did not actually go through this type of thing. Nonetheless, he is God, so I prayed for him to bring healing, and a lesson learned, to my situation.

A few days later, I was feeling a bit teary over the betrayal. I prayed and told God that I trusted him with my pain. I then opened my Bible to do my devotions. What I read spoke straight to my heart. My Lord did know what this unique trial felt like.

He knew what it meant to be hurt by those closest to us, those we are deeply emotionally intimate with. He knew that they can turn on us, even become callous and believe the worst. Then my devotions today explained the nature of human beings and how even Christ experienced this type of pain.

Jesus was familiar with betrayal as well. He was extremely intimate with the disciples, sharing time, love, intimacy with God and life lessons — even confiding who he was and what he had come to do. Yet Judas, and even Peter, who swore he would never betray Jesus, did just that.

I was amazed at how deeply that touched me. Jesus was betrayed by friends, those who professed to love him the most. What deep pain our Lord must have felt as he walked through this, and then to his crucifixion.

Jesus more than felt our pain. He has empathy when we journey alone. He experienced it firsthand.

As I sit with patients and hear their pain, I am still amazed that family members and friends betray one another. It surprises me even more when they profess to be believers. Being saved does not mean that you take but do not give back.

This is what we celebrate on Easter, our salvation by Jesus rising from the dead. We cannot take this salvation — knowing we have eternity in heaven instead of hell because Christ died for our sins — and not obey his commands to live a life of holiness, sacrificing our selfish needs, and doing what is right and to be Christ-like.

Christians, we need to step up in our humanity to each other. The world often does a much better job of being good friends and family members. It is the perfect season to reflect on where we fall in regard to suffering and how we treat others.

And we need to cover each other’s backs, not betray, as Jesus experienced. For us to not do so just can’t be in God's will.

The REV. KIMBERLIE ZAKARIAN runs the third Wednesday of the month. Reach her by e-mail at or by mail at the Rev. Kimberlie Zakarian, LMFT, Kimberlie Zakarian Therapy, 2233 Honolulu Ave. #310, Montrose, CA. 91020.

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