someone who understands

currently, i’m writing this blog from sydney, australia. i’m heading into my 8th week of lockdown, with at least another 6 weeks of lockdown to go.  

personally, the lockdown seems so different to the first one i experienced in 2020. in 2020, i was living in a friends place, with company close by.  currently, i’m living completed isolated.  throughout the last few weeks, i’ve cried heaps, felt numb, lost, without hope… at times, i was even unrecognisable to myself.  

i remember thinking a few weeks ago…  as i was undergoing yet another covid extended lockdown (first one week, then extended to another week, and then another two, and another 4 weeks)… when is this pain going to end? 

there i was, trying to explain the impact of hearing the news of yet another 4 weeks minimum lockdown to a friend, living in another state of Australia… and as much as they were trying their best to understand and have compassion, i realised that they just didn’t. how could they?  they hadn’t been through severe extended lockdowns in 2020, or experiencing a lockdown longer than a few days long in 2021.  as much as they wanted to and tried their best to support me during this difficult time, what they offered in response wasn’t particularly helpful.

the current lockdown restrictions in Sydney, whilst experienced by everyone, has resulted in a variety of different impacts.  those living alone crave company; whilst others long for respite from the people they live with – for some silence from kids and a few minutes of space.  

for we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are – yet was without sin

hebrews 4:14 (NIV)

we don’t have a priest who is out of touch with our reality. he’s been through weakness and testing, experienced it all – all but the sin

Message translation

as I read this, it made me realise how significant it is that Jesus came to earth, experiencing the things of this world.  it’s one thing to have a king or high priest is able to forgive, it’s completely another thing to have someone who truly understands the experiences we go through. He’s not just sitting up on some throne totally oblivious to the hurts, pains, disappointments of the world.  He gets us, He knows us. He intimately knows our needs, even more than we know ourselves.

 I am beginning to see that much of praying is grieving. 

henri nouwen

it’s something I’m learning to do more of – to lament with God.  to cry to God, pour out my honest feelings with him… knowing nothing is too big or small for him.  i’m learning through this process that this reliance is exactly what he desires – for us to live our lives wholly dependant on him.   often, we can brush off the importance of grieving and lamenting well, and be quick to get over things and rush to get back to “normal”.  at least for me, it’s much more difficult to admit I need help, recognise the impact the situation has on my actions, be confronted by my sin… and to humbly go to him for help. 

today, wherever you find yourself, whether in joy or sorrow, in good times or in bad, may you know that we have a God who understands everything you’re going through.  your pains, your struggles, your worries, your joys, your pleasures.   i pray for my fellow friends particularly who are going through tough lockdown restrictions – may you lean on God through your loss and grief, may the fact that we have a faithful high priest who understands exactly what you’re going through bring you comfort and peace.  may you understand more of the Father’s heart through this experience, and be filled with greater compassion.