"But You Don't Understand..."


Those words have come from teenagers frustrated with their parents’ decisions, employees who received word they are going to need to work 10 hours more per week for the next three months, or a criminal receiving a sentence from a judge of 15 years in prison for robbery. Those words also come from church members who are unfaithful in worshipping God, a student who pleads for a passing grade, or a person who attempts to stall creditors collecting past-due payments.

One man who knew the frustration of talking with those who did not understand his situation was Job. “I also could speak as ye do; If your soul were in my soul’s stead, I could join words together against you, and shake my head at you. And the solace of my lips could lessen your pain” (Job 16:4,5). How often we wish people could see things through our eyes! Do our eyes see clearly others’ terrible circumstances and patiently understand what they are experiencing? Are we looking at the situation with the thought, “If I were you…?” Do you know what you would do, and how you would react?

One good exercise for every Christian is “putting on the shoes” of the other person. You never know the load a person is carrying until you sit next to them and discuss it with them (Galatians 6:1-5). Who knows the problems you face? How do you know the problems others face? People will always cry for understanding until “your soul were in my soul’s stead.”

No one should console themselves in using the fact others do not understand as a reason for their ungodliness, laziness, or despair. Job knew his friends had missed the mark in their accusations. God knew. He understood. God wanted us to understand this - the reason He sent Jesus to the world. Jesus Christ experienced frustrations and problems. He felt pain. He felt human need. He had emotional moments (Isaiah 53:3). He knows life from our viewpoint, because He lived it.

For we have not a high priest that cannot be touched with the feelings of our infirmities; but one that hath been in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore draw near with boldness unto the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy, and may find grace to help us in time of need” (Hebrews 4:15,16). The value of Jesus coming and living on earth was to bring salvation and provide an example for us to follow (1 Peter 2:21). Through this, God and Jesus understand what mankind experiences. Although Jesus is great and supreme because He is the head, king, and judge, He offers grace, love, mercy, and strength. Man cannot look up into heaven and say, “You don’t care!” He hopes we will understand, and in spite of being frustrated with problems and disappointments, our attention will be given to our inward man, which should be renewed day by day (2 Corinthians 4:16-18). Thank God someone understands and can help.