Searchings of Heart
Lamentations 1:12-22
Is it nothing to you, all you that pass by? behold, and see if there be any sorrow like to my sorrow, which is done to me…

The greatest natures are capable of the greatest sorrow. It is utterly inconceivable to man of how much sorrow a nature like that of Jesus is capable. What sorrow would be ours if, for a single day, we were endowed with a power of vision which enabled us to see underneath all the coverings of life, into the heart of things; if all persons were laid bare to us, and we saw the stern reality below the veneer and polish and dress and shows of things! Let us not forget that the sufferings of our Lord historically recorded, are but part of His sufferings. The apostle speaks of "filling up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ." There are sorrows for the Son of Man still, for He has identified Himself with us, and become one with us. Does not His Church cause Him sorrow? Is it not like raw material, so very hard to His hand as to be almost incapable of being moulded into any shape or form of beauty? Does He not sorrow over our ignorance? Our mental dulness? Our pride of knowledge which is often worse than ignorance? Our unloveliness of spirit and unlovableness? Our hard thoughts of others? Do not these things cause Him sorrow? Again, our want of patience in doing His work? Our expecting to reap on the very day we sow? Does not our Lord sorrow over our legalism — that old Jewish spirit of slavishness to mere forms and customs which are of human device — the letter which killeth; the rigidity which knows not how to bend or adapt itself to weakness and feebleness and infirmity? Must He not sorrow over our sectarianisms — our thinking more of mere sectional names than of the real unity which underlies all these? Yea, sometimes, must not our very prayers be a source of sorrow to Him? Yes, truly, our Lord may well say, as He looks into the hearts of the members of His professing Church, "Behold, and see if there be any sorrow like unto My sorrow." When, in a court of justice, a man's own witnesses seem to damage his cause, the ease is indeed painful And yet, our Lord's deepest, profoundest, tenderest sorrow does not arise from any inconsistencies, or defects, or blunders, or ignorances, or wilfulnesses which He sees among those who believe in Him, trust Him and look to Him, many of whom do their feeble, blundering best, to serve Him. For, every man who names the name of Christ, and departs from iniquity, honours Christ. His chief sorrow is not over His Church, with all its multiplied inconsistencies, ignorances, and wilfulnesses, but over others; over you young man, to whom He has given a godly father and mother, who daily pray for you, though you hear it not, who love you with a love that, as far as a finite thing can represent an infinite thing, is like the love of God. Over you also, fathers and mothers, men and women bearing the holiest names that this world knows; into whose arms a gift has been placed than which this earth can furnish none so marvellous or wonderful — have you appreciated that gift at its true value? Have you realised that the flesh was only a platform for an immortal spirit to stand upon! Must there not be sorrow in the heart of Christ as He sees fathers and mothers treating children as though they were mere animal forms, or, at the most, mere children of this world, to be trained for this world, everything nurtured in them except that which is highest, that which is distinctive, that which makes them men? When our Lord looks from the height of His infinite knowledge upon the world of fathers and mothers, and sees how, by their example, they are bending their children's souls away from Him, how often must His feeling be like to that expressed in these words, "Is any sorrow like unto My sorrow?" Does not this line of reflection touch every one of us? What sorrow greater than that of being perpetually misunderstood? And who knows this sorrow as the Son of God knows it? Have we not misunderstood Him most egregiously? Have we not thought of Him as the condemner? Yet is He the Saviour. Have we not resisted the Holy Spirit's movements in our souls? Have we not almost forced ourselves into darkness? And all this has been so much of sorrow poured into the lot of the Son of Man. Yet still He broods over us, with a love that many waters cannot quench.

(R. Thomas.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: Is it nothing to you, all ye that pass by? behold, and see if there be any sorrow like unto my sorrow, which is done unto me, wherewith the LORD hath afflicted me in the day of his fierce anger.

WEB: Is it nothing to you, all you who pass by? Look, and see if there be any sorrow like my sorrow, which is brought on me, With which Yahweh has afflicted [me] in the day of his fierce anger.

Our Sorrows Rightly Estimated
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