Speaking Of Life 2005 | Never Alone
Many leadership experts talk about what makes a good leader great. One of the principles you might hear is “Walk the walk.” This means that a great leader doesn’t ask anyone to do anything that he or she isn’t willing to do.
I heard a story one time about how after a big snowstorm, the president of a small, Midwestern hospital was out clearing his driveway at 4 am because he wanted to be into work by 7 am. Did he have to be in at 7 am? No. He didn’t have any meetings or work that had to be done that early. But he knew that there were nurses and doctors and other support staff who were up that early, snowblowing and shoveling their driveways, because they had to be at the hospital for their shift at 7 am. Patients and other co-workers were counting on them. The hospital president wanted to show his support and solidarity for those who had to struggle with lousy weather to fulfill their work obligations.
Great leaders make sure you don’t feel alone in your struggles.
The writer of the book of Hebrews in the New Testament talks about how Jesus, the ultimate leader and savior of the world, suffered to “become perfect” through suffering:
“It was fitting that God, for whom and through whom all things exist in bringing many children to glory, should make the pioneer of their salvation perfect through sufferings” (Heb. 2:10, NRSV).
Some might think that this says Jesus was imperfect, but what it’s really highlighting is that God’s Son wanted to show he understands how it feels to suffer because human beings suffer. As fully God and fully man, he wants us to know he experienced what we experience. Consider what this means for death, the ultimate loss in our limited perspective:
“Since, therefore, the children share flesh and blood, he himself likewise shared the same things, so that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by the fear of death…Because he himself was tested by what he suffered, he is able to help those who are being tested” (Heb. 2:14-15, 18 NRSV)
Just like the hospital president who made sure he was at work at 7 am despite the big snowstorm to show support for those who worked for him, Jesus Christ meets us in the midst of our suffering. He’s been there, too. He was willing to subject himself to the worst of our human experiences, even death, so that death and the fear of death could no longer hold us in its negative grip. Jesus understands what it means to be fully human, and in God’s eyes, being human is very, very good.
May you know that in any suffering you encounter, Jesus meets you there.
I’m Heber Ticas, Speaking of Life.