Compassion

Feeling a little brokenhearted today. I’m healthy. My family is healthy. We’re all thriving. But all around me is despair. When I close my eyes I might even feel the agony and hopelessness of the world echoing within my soul. The blind cry out for relief from their sorrows and grope for the cross that remains just out of reach. Others with clear vision call on their Savior, their reason for hope, but He shows them more trouble.

2 Corinthians 1:3-5, “Blessed be the God and father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction so that we will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For just as the sufferings of Christ are ours in abundance, so also our comfort is abundant through Christ”

When I was sick so many people wanted to help that I felt supremely guilty that I couldn’t come up with odd jobs for them. It was silly–they felt a burden to help in a tangible way, and praying didn’t seem tangible, so I felt a burden to help them ease their burden in a tangible way. We were all wrong. We should have just prayed together. Prayed more. Every time we inhale and feel a burden we should exhale with a prayer. But…it’s hard to pray! It’s hard to care deeply for someone, to rest their problems on your shoulders and have no way to lift them off other than to lift them up in prayer. And let’s be honest, when we do all that, many times we don’t see a real answer. We don’t feel the Lord’s presence. He doesn’t do “little” things like resolve social situations for our kids. He doesn’t do big things like blow the Holy Spirit down to breathe life into a dying child. He doesn’t heal most people’s cancer.

It’s hard not to take these unanswered (or differently answered) prayers personally. To keep praying, trying, crying, day after day. Sometimes it seems impossible to stir up enough passion to even want to intercede in faith for another. But that’s when we need to remember. We remember the faith from our youth. We remember the prayers He did answer from the past. With every gut wrenching blow we feel from receiving bad news, we will remember how the King felt when Judas kissed his cheek. When I hear my own voice bitterly complain about circumstances being unfair, I will remember how He felt each time the crowd of people He loved and cared for screamed, “Crucify Him”. And every time I wonder, “What’s the point?” of praying for someone, I will look around and take note of the empty tomb. The cross was enough.

Lamentations 3:22-24, “The Lord’s lovingkindnesses indeed never cease. For His compassions never fail. They are new every morning: Great is your faithfulness. “The Lord is my portion” says my soul. “Therefore I have hope in Him”…