As part of the personal evangelism class I just taught in Cambodia, I had the students engage in role-playing for a couple of days. It was wonderful and memorable. Some of the students are brand new Christians and have no experience doing personal work. All of them got into it wholeheartedly. Perhaps the most poignant moment came about purely accidentally. We had a table set up, with a teacher, silent partner, and student. The “student” was to come up with the issue or dilemma for the “teacher” to solve. In one particular scenario, the “student” hit the teacher with his true background. He said, “When I was born, I did not even get to see my parents. They died and I am an orphan. If there is a God, why did this happen?” His teacher gently and unassumingly said, “I think I understand. I lost my parents when I was young, too, and I am an orphan.” There followed a beautiful lesson on God’s love and pretty good insights on why there is suffering in this world. But the fact his teacher not only comprehended, but experienced his situation made a huge impact on everyone in the room.
We will suffer in a great many ways throughout our short sojourn on this earth. At times, we may think that not another soul on earth understands. Perhaps, there will come a time when that is actually true. However, we will never encounter a single trial but that someone will always understand. He may not be on earth, but He is ever-present. He is actually omnipresent. The Hebrews writer says of Him, “For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin. Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need” (Heb. 4:15-16). As we bring our biggest, most debilitating issues into His presence, He gently says, “I think I understand.” Praise God!