Although my spirit is weak within me, you know my way. (Psalm 142:3 CSB)
As David wrote this Psalm, he was hiding in a cave, running for his life. His feelings were hurt. He was exhausted. He felt misunderstood and alone. The hero who had killed Goliath, the sexy, young, songwriting-warrior was crying in a cave. He was weak inside.
Our lives are a lot like David’s too, aren’t they? We have moments of triumph… moments where we come out on top. And yet, our lives are also full of sorrow, pain, and tears. We have broken families, lost loved ones, sickness and disease. We’ve had people wound us with their empty promises and hurtful words.
We all know what it’s like to be weak inside.
And the glory of Christianity is that God knows, too. He knows our way.
The Christian God is not a god so highly exalted above our world that he’s apathetic or aloof to our pain and suffering. He’s not an ignorant god sitting in his ivory tower, out of touch with the common man.
No. The Christian God knows our way. He’s on the streets. He gets you. He understands. He’s been there. He’s able to sympathize with your weakness. He’s strong, yet gentle. He’s otherworldly, yet close. He’s Immanuel— God with us.
In The Magician’s Nephew, C.S. Lewis illustrates this best. Digory, the main character, is worried about his mother who’s sick. He comes to Aslan, the Lion, with his concern. Here’s what happens—
“But please, please – won’t you – can’t you give me something that will cure Mother?’ Up till then he had been looking at the Lion’s great feet and the huge claws on them; now, in his despair, he looked up at its face. What he saw surprised him as much as anything in his whole life. For the tawny face was bent down near his own and (wonder of wonders) great shining tears stood in the Lion’s eyes. They were such big, bright tears compared with Digory’s own that for a moment he felt as if the Lion must really be sorrier about his Mother than he was himself.”
When you find yourself with a weak spirit, do you look into the eyes of the God who knows your way?
At Christmas, God demonstrates that his tears over our pain are bigger than ours. But you don’t have to look up to see them. You can look down into the manger.