Isaiah 53:4a

Surely he took up our infirmities

(Isaiah 53:4a, NIV)

In the song No Matter What, Kerrie Roberts sings,

Before a heartache ever touches my life

It has to go through Your hands.

Not only does it go through His hands, but He took it up.

My father was diagnosed with ALS in December of 2002, but he wasn’t the first to carry his own disease.  Almost two thousand years earlier, Christ personally carried my father’s illness.  Not just the generic disease, but the personal manifestation in Don Kohler’s life.  Jesus knew my father’s suffering.  It isn’t just that He allowed my father to go through that disease, but that He intimately knew what my father experienced, because He experienced it, too.

The diagnosis of a terminal illness or failing organs feels like an uncarryable burden.  But the burden is always given to us secondhand.

We are not hiking up a mountain with a scout leader who divides among his team the heavy burdens.  Rather, we are hiking up a mountain with a scout leader who carries all our burdens–every backpack, every tent, every water bottle–up the hill, and only gives us our individual burdens to carry once we are up top.

It’s one thing for someone to load on my back an illness I feel I cannot bear and let me suffer with it alone.  It’s another thing to have Someone load on my back an illness I have already watched Him carry at the cross, and for Him to intimately accompany me through my short turn of carrying it.

Surely he took up our infirmities

(Isaiah 53:4a, NIV)

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