This Christmas, the last thing I want to do is celebrate. If this resonates with you, then today’s column is for you.
Recently, my wife and I had back-to-back miscarriages. We have one son who is the delight of our hearts, and we were looking forward to providing him with a playmate. In August, we found out we were pregnant, but within two days we learned that we were miscarrying. We conceived again later and had all the signs of a healthy pregnancy. But after two months of enduring regular pregnancy symptoms, we went for our first ultrasound. There was a sac, but no baby. That one was particularly brutal.
There are other challenges facing us right now that, even if it weren’t for the miscarriages, would have been the hardest things I’ve faced in at least the last 10 years. But adding the deaths of two children on top of that has been absolutely soul-crushing.
Under all these circumstances, I was seriously tempted to think, for the first time in my Christian walk, that God did not care. I believe He is good and refuse to accuse Him of wrongdoing. But on the level of the emotions, it felt like all of this was a particularly brutal and needless test only to see if I would trust Him, as if that was the only thing He cared about. After all – it seemed – what would an omnipotent, omniscient and invincible God know about suffering? “He doesn’t know what it’s like to be one of us,” I thought after walking out of the doctor’s office learning we had lost the second baby.
But fortunately, I was wrong.
This is where Christmas comes in. Long before Christ’s birth, Isaiah prophesied, “Behold, a virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name Immanuel,” which means, “God with us.” Isaiah 7:14. Isaiah says again, “For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us…. And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9:6.
What significance does it have that He became flesh? Isaiah says again, “It was our sickness that He Himself bore, And our pains that He carried.” Isaiah 53:4. Part of God’s plan from eternity past was for Christ to know firsthand what hardship was like for us. So if you’re tempted like I was to think that God neither knew what it was like to suffer nor even cared to know, then Christ proves that wrong.
The author of Hebrews likewise says, “Therefore, in all things He had to be made like His brothers so that He might become a merciful and faithful high priest,” and “we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things just as we are, yet without sin.” Hebrews 2:17, 4:15. It was God’s will for Christ to not only be our Savior but also the high priest, or mediator, between God and man. If God were ever tempted to not care about how hard life can be for humans, Christ is there to tell Him what it’s like for us.
So if you’re reading this today and going through a season where you feel like you’ve been shot repeatedly and God seems distant, remember this Christmas that He is not far off. He came. He wrapped Himself in flesh and suffered like one of us. I would dare say that Christ is incapable of being indifferent towards what you’re going through. Once you’ve suffered, you can’t help but feel for people that you see suffering.
So if you’re dealing with the problem of pain this Christmas, remember that Christ’s birth is the proof that God does indeed care.
And if you need any further proof, Christ came not only to know what it was like to be human, but to pay the ultimate price to redeem humanity from its sins. The baby whose birth we celebrate grew up, bowed to the Father’s will, and went to the cross to save you and me. If that’s not proof that God cares, then I don’t know what is. That’s what has kept me grounded as I’ve gone through the dark night of the soul, and I hope it will do the same for you as well.
Matt Clark is the President of the Alabama Center for Law and Liberty, a conservative nonprofit law firm that fights for limited government, free markets, and strong families in the courts. His column appears every Friday in 1819 News. The opinions expressed in this column are those of the author. The views and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the policy or position of 1819 News. To comment, please send an email with your name and contact information to Commentary@1819News.com.
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