Those who seek and receive professional counsel for their life and relationships are considered heroes at my church. If this includes you, you know the process can be both encouraging and difficult, but worth it. Taking time to root around beneath the surface has an inevitable tendency to expose emotional rubble we don’t always want to look at. And we all have our rubble.
One of the most overwhelming and recurring thoughts I’ve had through my own counseling journey has been the staggering size of God’s heart. The hurts and disappointments in my own life are minuscule compared to what others have suffered, but when you multiply those hurts by the billions, for every person who ever breathed, all with our pain and scars, one question surfaces. If God truly sees it all, how can he bear it? We hear on TV about abused or malnourished children and we want to change the channel because our hearts cannot handle it. The atrocities of war fill volumes. Hunger and disease run rampant. The age-old question about why God allows all the misery crops up ever so easily, leading many to conclude he may be loving or he may be all-powerful, but he certainly cannot be both.
And then our protest is silenced by the shadow of a cross.
Not only does God see it all, but if the Bible is true, he loves each hurting individual with a love we can only imagine. So how can his heart stand it? His capacity for pain must be at least as great as his capacity for love. God’s heart breaks for the abuser as much as the abused, the perpetrator as well as the victim. And on some level, we are all both.
When Jesus died on the cross, it was not only for the sins you’ve committed but also for the sins done against you. Not just for forgiveness, but for healing. I don’t claim to understand this, but Isaiah 53:5 foretold it: “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.”
As you celebrate Easter weekend, may God grant you a fresh picture of his great big heart. We simply cannot put him in a box, understand, or explain him with our little human hearts and brains. We cannot fully appreciate the battle at Calvary, when all the forces of darkness rallied everything they had and hurled it all at my hero as he hung there. Every vulgar thought, every loathsome deed, every emotional or physical wound ever inflicted. All of it, flung at him as though he committed it all himself.
The suffering will one day come to an end. We have the ultimate Hero. He took it all. He paid the price. It is finished. We win!