Recently the Royal Mail in the United Kingdom issued a series of stamps, commemorating First World War poets. As I opened some post that came into the Ministry Office at Ellel Grange, my eye was caught by the words on one such stamp. The words on the stamp seemed to shout at me, ‘Your battle-wounds are scars upon my heart’. They were from a poem written in 1918 by Vera Brittain, in honour of her brother Edward who had survived the terrible battle of the Somme in 1916, and been decorated for his bravery in that battle.
Poignantly, Edward was killed in some of the final fighting of the war on the Austrian-Italian front, not long after Vera wrote that poem. To me there is something of the heart of God reflected in the words she wrote to her brother. They had a very close relationship with each other, as a brother and sister. She was simply saying to him that what had wounded him had wounded her also.
As Christians we know and serve a Saviour, who bore, in his heart, our sin and our wounds on the cross, and even now in heaven bears the scars of the cruel death which purchased our forgiveness and healing. Our verse for today (Isaiah 63:9) shows the heart of God expressed to His people Israel. Even when they were wayward and rebellious He wasn’t indifferent to their suffering.
As those who know the benefits of the New Covenant we’re told that Jesus is a high priest who sympathises with our weaknesses. He has worn our flesh and walked where we walk. Although He didn’t sin, He’s felt our pain, and, even now, goes through our trials with us. ‘For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathise with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin’ (Hebrews 4:14-15).
Perhaps you’re battle weary today, wounded by the enemy of our souls through the actions or words of others, through your own sin, or simply by life’s circumstances. Jesus lovingly invites you to come to Him, and allow Him to pour His comfort and strength into your heart and restore your soul.
‘Can we find a friend so faithful
Who will all our sorrows share?
Jesus knows our every weakness.
Take it to the Lord in prayer’.
(Joseph M Scriven)
Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You that You’re a true friend, who feels my pain, and understands all my struggles. I come to Your throne of grace today with confidence, and an open heart to receive Your mercy and grace, which meets my every need. In Your name, I pray. Amen.
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