When I was a Consultant at Grey’s Hospital one of the theatre sisters became pregnant. She was so excited. She had been married for some years and this baby was what they had been longing for. Then at her routine checkup two weeks before the due date no fetal heart could be heard. An ultrasound confirmed the worst. Her baby had died. I gave her an epidural so that she would have a pain-free delivery and sedated her well during the procedure while we delivered a beautifully formed, lifeless little girl.
She was inconsolable for days, refusing all comfort. Then one day someone came and stood beside her bed. “I know how you feel,” she said, “I lost my little baby at birth.”
She managed to speak to that mourning mother like no-one else. She had been there. When she said “I know how you feel” it was true in a sense that none of us could match.
When Jesus humbled Himself and joined the human race He was preparing God to be able to do exactly the same. When He says, “I know how you feel,” we can know that He truly does, because He has been there. The other day I was feeling very misunderstood and wrongly accused. I was having a pity party in my Quiet Time when I thought back to the story of Jesus’ betrayal and mocking. It took me out of myself as I realised that I was experiencing, in a tiny part, what He went through. It meant I could, in a sense, share in His suffering. But not only that — He was sharing what I was going through. That is the beauty of Christmas, where it all started. Apart from His amazing work of atonement, which started with His becoming the second Adam in a remote manger, it has everything to do with healing. He knows how I feel and can walk beside me as an understanding Friend, sticking closer than a brother. What a reason to celebrate Christmas.