We all know pain. Headache. Heartache. Disappointment. Frustration. Failure. Sin. We know what it is to experience disease. We know what it is to experience loss. We know how it hurts when we have been betrayed. We understand the agony when a dream fades. We know sorrow when love is not realized. We know the anguish of a longing unfulfilled. We all know pain, but for those of us who have children there is no pain like your child's pain.

Your daughter had been waiting for weeks to hear from the college of her dreams. It was a long shot, but she decided to try. Her hopes were high. Her spirit was strong. Then, the letter came. She walked in from the mailbox, dropped the letter on the table and went to her room. She did not want to be bothered and declined to eat dinner. There is no pain like your child's pain.

Your son had worked hard in the off-season. He had put in hour after hour on the fundamentals. He had sacrificed. He had persevered. When the first game came, he sat on the bench. During the second game he saw no action. When the third game was finished, he had still not gotten any playing time. When someone said, "Good game." He grunted, "Yeah, right. I really played great!" There is no pain like your child's pain.

Your son had dated the same girl all through high school and college. They were childhood friends who became sweethearts. They were voted cutest couple, best couple, and the couple most likely to get married to each other. Sure enough, they did get married. Every one expected life to be perfect for them. However, two years into the marriage, she decided that she had missed something. She felt deprived. She went on a search and found another man. Within weeks, she had filed for divorce. She was gone. He was alone. There is no pain like your child's pain.  

Your daughter had never given you a moment's trouble. She was a great kid and leader in the church youth group. She had gone on mission trips, retreats, been in Bible class every time the door was opened. She was a wonderful daughter. That's why the news that she was pregnant was such a shock. Her life would never be the same. Instead of thinking senior prom and making plans for college, she was shopping for maternity clothes and considering her options. There is no pain like your child's pain.

You always suspected your son had done some things he should not have done, but he was really a good kid and seemed to be well adjusted. When he left home after high school, he distanced himself. He rarely came home, and when he did the visits were short and uneasy. He would not talk and you did not know what was going on in his life. You prayed for him everyday, every night, and many times in between. One day he calls and says he needs help, he's in jail, and is looking at serious time in jail. There is no pain like your child's pain.

Parents are not supposed to bury their children. But in your case, they did. You walked with him through the early stages of cancer. You watched as he lost his strength, lost weight, and lost his desire to fight. You watched as he tried to be strong and brave for his own children. You were there with him when he left this world. There is not pain like your child's pain.

For parents, there is no pain like the pain we feel when our children are hurting. There is no more helpless feeling than seeing your child in pain and not being able to do anything to relieve his or her suffering. There is no pain that compares to the pain a mother and father feels when her or his child is hurting.

However, there is one who understands our pain. In  John 3:16, God describes how much God loves us. So much that He was willing to allow His only son to die for our sins. Two thoughts strike me as important to our discussion. (Read  Isaiah 53 and  2 Corinthians 5:21 for further expansion of these thoughts!)

    We have a Father who understands the pain we feel.
  • First, God saw us in pain due to our sinful nature. We struggle. We try to do better. Still we sin. We hurt and we grieve and pledge to do better. Still we suffer. God sees that and because He loves us, He allowed His only Son to die so we can know freedom from the bondage of sin.
  • Second, as He relieved our sin, His Son took it upon him. He suffered for us. He bore our sins. He hung on the cross. He took our abuse. He died so we could live. As Jesus died for us, His Father, and our Father, watched Him suffer. There is no pain like your child's pain.

Moms and Dads, we have a Father who understands the pain we feel as we see our children in pain. He knows how we feel. He can comfort. He will sustain us. He will see us through. He will be our strength.

There is no pain like your child's pain. There is no love like our Father's love.