“The difference between the almost right word and the right word is really a large matter. ’tis the difference between the lightning bug and the lightning.” Mark Twain

Monday Manna - Philippians 3:10-11

Welcome to Monday Manna. Twice a month (once here and once at Exemplified) participants read a chosen scripture and expand upon it (or anything creative) and share it on their blogs. Please visit those who link up at Mr. Linky at the bottom of this post!

This week's scripture: I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead. (Philippians 3:10-11)
Here is my contribution.

"I know what you're going through. I've been there."

There's something comforting about those words. You make a very special connection--a unique bond, if you will--with someone who has truly been through the very same difficulty you have. A bond of common experience and suffering. A fellowship, if you will.

I, for instance, have a very soft spot in my heart for the wives of ill/disabled husbands, because I am one. It's not just that I can "give them advice" because of my own experience. And it's not just that they can do the same for me. It's a special kind of comfort and understanding that comes from empathy--being able to be in someone else's proverbial shoes. It's the "fellowship of sharing in his [or her] sufferings." It's being able, in a sense, to make suffering lighter by sharing it. It's knowing that person just a bit better because of your commonality.

Knowing what Jesus went through in his earthly life is one thing. I can read the Bible for that. Yet, with the right attitude, experiencing it myself can give me a new, more intimate fellowship with Him: the fellowship of shared experiences. So, perhaps, because I have been rejected by others, chastised by Jews, and misunderstood by my closest relatives, I can empathize with My Savior, and draw a bit closer to him.

It's easy to take experiences like these and whine about them, or even to withdraw from the Lord, feeling forsaken. Yet, why not see them as an opportunity to empathize with our Savior, and to develop that fellowship of sharing suffering?

Heavenly Father, I know that your empathy for me is complete, as you have gone through everything I have. Help me, Lord, to feel some of that same empathy with You, and to draw closer to You in the process. I know I cannot empathize with you completely, as I am but a human, while You are divine. Still, draw me closer to you through the fellowship of our shared suffering, and help me to look at my own suffering in this same light. In Jesus' Name I pray. Amen.

Don't forget to check out the folks below who have linked up--and feel free to participate yourself!


  1. That's a new angle for me! I have thought about how He can empathize with my sufferings, but I hadn't thought about me empathizing with His. May that thought put my difficulties in a new light!


  2. Watching "The Passion of the Christ" always helps to put His earthly suffering in a proper perspective for me. I watched it last week and it's helped me to tap into His presence more, hence my poem. I put myself in the shoes of those around Him at the time and how they would have felt during His death and resurrection.

    I love your post. He knows the temptations we suffer, the hurt, the pain, everything, because He's been here and done that. He knows how helpless we are as humans.

    I would haved loved to have known Him during His time here on earth, and am ever so thankful that I am getting to know Him now from where He lives in my heart.

    Paula :-)

  3. What a wonderful take on this passage! I've never thought of it like that, and it's so true. Another connecting point with our Savior. Thank you!

  4. Great post! I've been studying 2 Corinthians and it goes right along with what your saying about the "bond of common experience and suffering". We share in Christ's sufferings, and we share in the sufferings of others. It is a kind of "knowing" that truly does form a unique bond. I enjoyed reading your insight into this passage of scripture!

  5. When you wrote "shared experiences with Him" I was blown away. I love that thought and how it puts this place into heavenly perspective.

    You know, the trumpet is going to sound one day and I want to be found as one who already knows Him. Intimately. Reverently.

  6. I love the book of Philippians and this was another great post! Thank you for sharing your words and your wisdom with us.

    I have two new blessings for you over at my blog! Come by when you can and check them out!

  7. Yes shared experiences deepen the heart connection.
    I think He knew that, that's why He invited us into His heart and how it aches. He knew it would take us more deeply into love, His love.

    Thank you for sharing your heart.

    I found you at Kristen's blog.

    Bless you,

  8. What a beautiful thought! Thank you!

  9. "It's easy to take experiences like these and whine about them, or even to withdraw from the Lord, feeling forsaken. Yet, why not see them as an opportunity to empathize with our Savior, and to develop that fellowship of sharing suffering?"

    Okay--wowzer. I have to confess this message is for me. Thank you, Jo, for being sensitive to the Lord's leading to preach the Word.


Thanks for stopping by. I would love to hear your thoughts - please share them!

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