Editor’s Note: The following is a sermon shared by eighth grader Nathanael Green with his church on Palm Sunday.
Jesus felt all the feelings we feel when we are struggling, and He knew He would suffer just like us. Just as the world had darkness over it when Christ died on the cross, so do we too have darkness in different ways in our lives.
When it was time for Jesus to be tried and crucified, He knew He had to go through it and He did it for us even if that means He had to suffer a lot. Christ felt everything we do when we are struggling in life. It might be different for each person but it is still a feeling we don’t want to feel. He knew that He couldn’t escape this death and that He had to endure the pain and suffering. Jesus cried out to God and asked why is this happening to me God. It shows that all the things we go through, He did too. He knew that if He endured the pain it would be the greatest sacrifice for us who believe in Him. If He did not suffer everything He did we wouldn’t be saved when our time comes.
Facing Trials: We Are Not Alone
We still have hardships in life, but because of what He did we who believe will not suffer forever. This also shows us that we’re not alone and Jesus knows what it’s like to be us.
In my life, I’ve also faced things just like that but in a very different way. And people around me have too. It was when I was 4 years old in 2012 and got told I have cancer, brain tumor. I really didn’t know what to think, I was just very young and not really aware. I didn’t really understand what had happened. I was still a Christian, went to church and school, but I had a lot of behavior struggles and physical challenges, but that still didn’t keep me from being mostly happy and cheerful. It seemed I did not know what I was going through and when I was in bad pain I just seemed to get over it without really thinking about it, but again, I was very very young.
I stopped chemo in 2014 and spent a year of living life as it seemed I wasn’t really worrying, just trying to be happy.
Facing Trials: Cancer Returns
I went to kindergarten and then 1st and 2nd grade and those years were sometimes hard because of my behavior. I did not understand boundaries and how to talk to people, but again I don’t think I was completely aware and overall, I felt like me, good and happy. Then in 3rd grade, I had to start chemo again as the tumor started to regrow. It got hard for me with friends starting to not like me and make fun of me. I lost weight and all of my hair. And now I was realizing what my cancer meant and better aware of my pain. I felt that friends and teachers did not support me in the way I needed. So it continued into 4th and 5th grade, I was having so much pain and struggle and felt like it wouldn’t end, just as I imagine Jesus felt on the cross. There were a lot of problems at school that finally made me leave school near the end of 5th grade. I had to seek a lot of help.
In 6th grade, I started at the San Marcos Christian Academy in Texas, and from then to now things got better, more friends, better school and teachers and family life. I’m a lot healthier today. While things got better with my behavior though, I started to doubt God and say why did you do this to me? I still struggle with questions everyday, some are like why am I here with this illness or why is it me not him or her. God, do you care for me? God, will it go away? God, please do a miracle now, I haven’t seen one. All these questions have come to make me think. I have asked these questions with my parents and teachers at my Christian School in Tx. My English and Science teachers at San Marcos Christian academy in Texas and my mom have told me so many great things about me. They tell me that I’m a living miracle and that even if I still have cancer it’s a miracle I’m still here today.
Facing Trials: Be the Change
I try to be a change in the world. I currently see kids in my class not being their true selves, trying to be popular or cool. I just try to be me and think that my experiences may change someone’s life, maybe as simple as a smile everyday.
I have said a lot and I will end with saying that we all go through hardships in life, just like Jesus did and He said to not be of the world but to be in the world. And for us to be our true selves and we can help change someone’s heart. And that we are all living miracles in the world made by God in our special and unique way.