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In his Good Friday sermon for 2005, Dr. Richard Lischer asked these questions:

-"Have you ever been tempted? So was (Jesus). Thus your temptations have been redeemed in His.

-Have you ever been hated? So was He. You have a place in Him.

-Have you ever been lonely, afraid, without a place called home? So was He.

-Have you cried when you're sad? So did He.

-Do you sweat when you are afraid? So did He.

-Have you ever (in anguish asked why)? So did He. You have a place in Him."

The same preacher who wrote those words of having a place with God when we are afraid, sad and doubting God, lost his only son on July 17 of the following year. Dr. Lischer's son Adam was 33 years old. He was a budding attorney who had just joined the firm where his mother practices law, enabling them to realize their long-held ambition to practice law together. Son Adam died not long after being diagnosed with a brain tumor. He died 12 days before his first child -- a baby girl -- was born.

Does Dr. Lischer, the preacher who lost his son, know unspeakable pain? Yes. Does he know the kind of anguish that hits him in the pit of his stomach? Yes. Does he know what it is like to be so sad that he can hardly get out of bed and face another day? I'm sure he does. But he also knows a Savior who has experienced the same level of pain -- a Savior who cried out on the cross, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?"

(Source: Richard Lischer, "He Was Forsaken," March 25, 2005. Adapted from "Doubting God" - sermon by Donna M. Claycomb - Matthew 27:45-50, Numbers 21:4-9 - March 26, 2006 - Mount Vernon Place UMC, Washington.)

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