For the past year and a half I have struggled with chronic facial pain. At times it feels like I am “The Man in the Iron Mask” or like I have had multiple facelifts and chemical peels. After multiple MRIs and CAT scans and trips to the neurosurgeon’s office and a lot of money, I still have no answers and no treatment plan. Unless God heals me, I’m stuck with this pain for the rest of my life. I’m 45, so I have a lot of years left to live. And the thought of living the rest of my life with this pain is not a happy thought.
I know that I am not the only one facing unbearable circumstances. Women face feeding their three children without the help of a husband. Aging adults find themselves needing help to care for themselves. Mothers deal with their children dying before them. Cancer victims face insurmountable medical bills. Unemployed men face a difficult job market. Unmarried and infertile women face a future without having children. Other women struggle with panic attacks or depression or are bipolar. And many moms struggle just to make it through the day.
In our own journey, we all face situations that seem bigger than what we can possibly handle. Unbearable.
Surprisingly, so did the Son of God.
I have been studying the book of Hebrews and how Jesus offered Himself as the perfect sacrifice for our sins. I’ve read Hebrews 9 multiple times, but recently I saw something I’ve never noticed before:
“…Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself…to God.” (Hebrews 9:14, NASB)
I love the New Living Translation for this verse:
“For by the power of the Holy Spirit, Christ offered Himself to God as perfect sacrifice for our sins.”
By the power of the Holy Spirit, Jesus offered Himself.
All throughout His ministry, Jesus relied on the power of the Holy Spirit. Without the Holy Spirit, Jesus could not fast for 40 days or resist temptation. He could perform signs or wonders or miracles. He could not not lead or pray or rebuke. Without the power of the Holy Spirit, Jesus could not discern or love or forgive. And He could not choose to lay down His life and go to the cross without Holy Spirit.
Jesus faced a horrible future…death on a cross…but He faced it and chose it by the power of the Holy Spirit. Like Jesus, we can also face a difficult future. We do not face our insurmountable circumstances alone. We do it by the power of the Holy Spirit. We have help!
We don’t face single parenthood alone.
We don’t face bankruptcy alone.
We don’t face chronic pain alone.
We don’t face aging, failing bodies alone.
We don’t face conflict alone.
We don’t face grief and loss alone.
We don’t face surgery alone.
We don’t face having prodigal children alone.
We don’t even face death alone.
Like Jesus, we have the Holy Spirit to help us face the unfaceable. Like Jesus, we don’t have to go through it alone. We have a Comforter, an Enabler to give us the strength, wisdom, and grace to do it. With the power of the Holy Spirit, we can do anything. We can live and have joy and hope.
With Holy Spirit, we can bear the unbearable. Just like Jesus.
What about you? What unbearable thing are you facing? I would love to pray for you.