February 3, 2013
Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed Him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But He was wounded for our transgressions; He was crushed for our iniquities; upon Him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with His stripes we are healed. Isaiah 53:4-5
The boy had been admitted to a St. Louis hospital with a fever of 103 degrees.
After days of testing he was diagnosed with leukemia. The doctors were honest with him, both in regard to his illness and the results of the chemotherapy. They told him he would be receiving medication for three years. During that time he would go bald, and his body would probably be bloated.
That news is tough for anybody, but it is devastating when you are 15 and what other people think is really important.
Understandably, the boy grew discouraged and depressed. Trying to help, the lad's aunt called a florist, shared his story, and ordered some flowers. When the flowers were delivered, there were two cards that accompanied the order. The young man opened and read his aunt's caring card.
Then he took a look at the second card. It read as follows: "I'm the fellow who took your aunt's order. I had leukemia when I was seven years old. I'm 22 years old now. Good luck! My heart goes out to you. Sincerely." That card made all the difference. The boy knew he wasn't alone. He knew somebody had been there before him. He knew there was hope for the future.
As I write this devotion, I don't know your situation.
Even so, I do know that you have now -- or someday will have -- problems and pains.
When that time comes, I hope you will know you are not alone. Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord came into this world, became one of us, to offer Himself as the payment, which would rescue us from death and hell.
But He also entered this world to give us the assurance that we are not alone. The Old Testament prophet, Isaiah, had foretold that Jesus would, in saving us, carry our griefs and sorrows, be wounded for our sins, and crushed for our disobedience. The Gospels tell how the Savior faced fears that would send shivers into our soul.
That is why, when He says, "Fear not, I am with you," we can believe Him. Because of what He endured we have healing, hope and confidence.
No matter what tomorrow may bring, no matter how insecure and unsure we may be Jesus has shown us we are not alone.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, this world can be a pretty nasty place. Indeed, there would be no hope for the future if it were not for the fact that Jesus came to earth so that things might be changed. By living, suffering and dying for us we are forgiven. Because of His resurrection believers know that death is not the end. With such blood-bought peace may we live out our days. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries