God’s Compassion


                And when she had said these things, she went her way and secretly called Mary her sister, saying, “The Teacher has come and is calling for you.”  As soon as she heard that, she arose quickly and came to Him.  Now Jesus had not yet come into the town, but was in the place where Martha met Him. Then the Jews who were with her in the house, and comforting her, when they saw that Mary rose up quickly and went out, followed her, saying, “She is going to the tomb to weep there.”  Then, when Mary came where Jesus was, and saw Him, she fell down at His feet, saying to Him, “Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died.” Therefore, when Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who came with her weeping, He groaned in the spirit and was troubled.  And He said, “Where have you laid him?”  They said to Him, “Lord, come and see.”  Jesus wept. Then the Jews said, “See how He loved him!”  And some of them said, “Could not this Man, who opened the eyes of the blind, also have kept this man from dying?” (John 11: 28-37.)


               When Jesus arrived at the home of Mary and Martha they were already in mourning for the loss of their brother Lazarus; whom they had recently buried.  The Lord’s heart was filled with compassion and empathy; and he began weeping with them.  His tears weren’t shed for Lazarus (he would soon raise his fallen friend from the dead); instead, he cried because he felt the suffering of Martha and Mary.  God’s compassion is immeasurable.  He knows and experiences every pain we will ever endure.  Compassion is defined as “a feeling of deep sympathy and sorrow for another who is stricken by misfortune, accompanied by a strong desire to alleviate that suffering.”

                One day I happened by a man named Eric.  He was sitting outside of a coffee shop, slouching in a chair; he looked more dead than alive.  Eric was sweating profusely and his skin appeared pale and clammy.  His clothes were old and tattered and he badly needed a shower.  Upon seeing his painful condition, I was moved to sit down and talk with him.  He was experiencing heroine withdrawal.  I took him out to eat and got him some clean clothes.  Later, as his condition deteriorated I took him to the hospital.  I sat with him in the emergency room for hours and accompanied him in to see the doctor.  He was treated, and released.  Before dropping Eric off, I bought him some food and supplies, and told him that I was available if he needed anything else.  Nearly a year later, Eric showed up at the coffee shop to say hello.  He told me that after our interaction, he had nearly died and was hospitalized for an extended period of time with a heart infection.  He thanked me for my efforts, and said that without my assistance, he might not be alive.  Even when his friends had abandoned him, someone cared enough to help.  I reassured him that it was God who deserved the credit; for it was God’s compassion that had been placed in my heart; without the Lord’s Spirit, guidance, and direction, I would’ve kept walking just like everyone else.

                God instills His concerns, emotions, and feelings in to the heart of every believer.  In turn, the Holy Spirit moves us to accomplish great acts of compassion.  The closer we grow to the Lord, the more compassion we will feel for those who are hurting.  Wherever love abounds, God’s spirit can be found; where there is indifference and a deficit of compassion, the Holy Spirit is lacking.  There are so many broken people in this world who need to be loved; some pass by the afflicted without stopping to consider them; but God compels others to act.  May the Lord’s compassion lead you to action; may you feel what God feels; may you see with His eyes; and may you step out in faith and take the time to relieve the suffering of others.

                “Lord Heavenly Father, we desire to know You and to be filled with Your compassion.  Inspire us to help those who are hurting; give us the strength to reach out to the lost.  May we be kind to the needy and love the stranger.  May we be used to communicate Your love to all those we meet.  We love You Father, we praise You, and we thank You, and we ask and pray all of these things, according to Your will, in Jesus Christ’s name.  Amen.”  God bless all of you.

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