Is it not amazing how little sympathy we have for someone unless we have experienced the same pain, struggle or trial.
My family has been struck with Hand, Foot & Mouth Disease the past few days - and let me tell you it is no fun. My daughter started with a sore throat, and what she said was a sore mouth, a couple of days ago. She complained when she had to eat or even when she had to drink. Other than that she was quite cheerful, so I put it down to her being a little dramatic - which she can be at times! It was only until I had the exact same ulcerous sores in my mouth that I then understood the pain my daughter was experiencing.
I felt quite convicted in the lack of sympathy that I gave my suffering little girl.
I watched with interest a TV program last night where a male doctor underwent a 'simulated labour'. He was attached to electrodes that would contract his muscles in a similar fashion as contractions would in labour. He experienced the pain and suffering - to a shorter degree - that most women have to endure to give birth. He did not manage to last the many hours of an average labour, as the pain was too much for him to bear. Afterwards he apologised to his wife - and all women - that he had previously assumed he understood what they went through.
I cannot help but think of our Saviour and the following verse:
"For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin."
It is truly wonderful that Christ suffered all temptation, we are not alone in our suffering - whatever it may be - Jesus can sympathise, comfort and guide us, no matter how hard our trial!