“For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in our time of need.”
In the past whenever I used to read or hear this verse, it always brought me comfort, but the depth of it never really struck me so much as it did the other night. After a long day of toddler parenting and cleaning I was at my breaking point. I was just annoyed with everyone and everything. I was so thankful when bedtime came, yet I felt this overwhelming feeling of guilt over my attitude. It is in times like these that I wonder why I can’t ‘tap into’ that strength Paul talks about during his weakness. What does it really mean to have God’s strength? I have been reading through the book of Hebrews recently and just came to this verse. It was like an answer to my inner longing for a reminder that God will truly help in these times.
I always saw “sympathizing with our weaknesses” in light of his suffering, pain, and death. But his weaknesses stretched far deeper than what happened at Calvary. He was in all ways human just as we are. He faced hunger, loss, sadness, disappointments, etc., and I cannot help but think that there were times that he felt annoyed or overwhelmed. He understands where I am at in my emotional spectrum and, here’s the kicker, while he did face all those emotions he never sinned. What strikes me the most is what follows that truth. The writer is not saying, “This is what he did so you have to do it.” He is not placing an unattainable demand on our lives, but he is offering an encouragement for the difficult times. God knows you and I are not perfect, and for that reason we look to Jesus for the hope and strength that will carry us through. He makes it possible for us to come BOLDLY to the Father — not shrinking back in our guilt, imperfections, or weaknesses. We are to come BOLDLY to the throne of grace. Did you catch that? Throne of grace, not judgement — grace that we may find help in our time of need.
I hope this strikes a chord of encouragement in your life as well. Parenting is hard. Being a parent is hard. But you are not alone, and neither am I. We have help and the ability to come with boldness, no matter how ‘bad’ or ‘off-base’ we feel we are, to the throne of grace. And that is an incredible thing!