Nobody understands me!

Nobody understands me!

For we do not have a high priest incapable of sympathizing with our weaknesses, but one who has been tempted in every way just as we are, yet without sin. – Hebrews 4:15

Heb 2:18 For since He Himself was tempted in that which He has suffered, He is able to come to the aid of those who are tempted.

Heb 2:17 Therefore, He had to be made like His brethren in all things, so that He might become a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people.

What is an empath? Empath comes from the Greek word empatheia from em – “to cause to be in” and path – suffering, sensation. It is the ability to understand the experiences and feelings of others. It allows us to see things from someone else’s perspective. An empath can actually sense and feel emotions as if they were their own. They have the remarkable ability to so identify with another, that someone else’s pain and happiness becomes their own.

Do dogs have empathy? Most definitely, Yes! On February 24, 2019, a video was posted on YouTube. It went viral. It shows a dog whimpering while watching the tragic death scene of Mufasa in The Lion King (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1TaywkSZf4E). Indeed dogs do have and show empathy.

In the journal Learning & Behavior, it was demonstrated that dogs remain calm and show empathy when their owners call “Help!” in a distressed tone (https://www.springer.com/gp/about-springer/media/research-news/all-english-research-news/empathetic-dogs-lend-a-helping-paw/15963158).

Aaron McDonald, canine behaviorist, dog trainer, wrote Three Dimensional Dog: A Unified Theory of Canine Behavior. Regarding empathy, McDonald states “This gives us important insight into the mind and motivation of dogs. These behaviors show us they possess an innate concern for the well-being of others—which they begin to develop around just 3 months of age.”

Dogs are extremely sensitive. They can immediately tell when something is awry. McDonald adds, “Dogs are like FBI profilers: they’re always keenly attuned to everything going on in a family—the sights, sounds, patterns. They record every nuance of ‘normal’ life, and become concerned if we break that pattern.”

How often do we say to ourselves, “No one understands me?” That is entirely untrue. Not only do dogs and some people have empathy, but of much greater importance, so do the Father and the Son.

REFLECT & PRAY

Whenever we are in need or have things to share, good or bad, we always have someone to talk to.

Father thank You that You are always “there for me.” You truly understand me and know me. You feel what I feel. You can identify with what I experience and assist me.

INSIGHT

To gain experiential knowledge of the human experience, the Lord Jesus Christ, became truly human. He understands our weaknesses, for He faced all of the same testings we do, yet He did not sin (Hebrews 4:15). He is the ultimate empath. He feels and internalizes what we feel. Is it too much to imagine, that when we feel sad and dejected, so does He? When we are exhilarated and enthusiastic, does He share these feelings with us?

The impact of this reality is tremendous. Upon reflection, so many things come to mind. Among them is the fact that he is approachable and receptive. He does not push us away or reject us. He always has time for us. He is never too busy. He welcomes us to come to Him difficult times. But He does not just listen, He also acts in our behalf and assists us in our time of need according to His dreams and desires for our lives.

Matthew 11:28-30

28 Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.

 29 Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls.

 30 For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.”

He has asked us to come. And we are to come boldly and with confidence.

The Greek word translated boldly or confidence is parresia. Parresia connotes freedom or frankness in speaking. This is particularly true of speaking before someone of great rank or power. It indicates that children of the King may come before Him and speak plainly and honestly (ESV, Notes).

In the ancient world, common people could not approach people of high rank or authority with impunity. They were not welcome or allowed.

“Every believer in Christ is invited, and is even encouraged, to “come boldly unto the throne of grace” (Weirsbe)!

Hebrews 4:14-16

 14 So then, since we have a great High Priest who has entered heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to what we believe.

 15 This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same testings we do, yet he did not sin.

 16 So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.

But there is more. He is given every one of His children the ability to be concerned for others.

2 Corinthians 11:28  Apart from other things, there is the daily pressure on me of my anxious concern for all the churches.

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