Everyone Needs Compassion

compassion-butterfly

“Therefore, as God’s chosen people,
holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with
compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.”
Colossians 3:12

Everyone needs compassion. Everyone longs for kindness and caring. For someone who is willing to help. They need someone who will see behind their masks or dismissing words. They need someone to validate that their pain is real and worthy of attention. They need someone to “be like Jesus” to them.

A couple of weeks ago I read a blog post that gave a beautiful example of compassion. Ceil Ryan describes how her friend felt her life was “out of control.” That her friend said, “I feel like I’m drowning… Well. I guess it could be worse.”

“It could be worse.” Instead of agreeing with her, Ceil validated her feelings and struggles as real and she looked past that statement and saw a hurting soul. She writes, “The pain, stress and worry she is feeling is real. She’s sharing so her struggle can be recognized. It calls out to me, begging to be carried, and to be respected as a burden too heavy to carry right now.”

Ceil’s willingness to look past dismissing words personally validated my hurts, too. I have read other posts or comments to mine that also validate my pain (and I thank God for you all), but too often I dismiss it and don’t allow it to instill more compassion towards myself. Sure, I’m learning to open up and write more about my struggles, but I often say to myself “It could be worse. Appreciate that and be thankful for what you have.” In this way I deny my struggles, whether with chronic illness, the lingering triggers of past abuse, emotional pain, loss, and other stress or worry in life. This inhibits me from grieving as I should. And I’m realizing it drives a wedge in my relationship with a loving and compassionate Savior. When I don’t want to admit I hurt to myself because “it could be worse” or “I need to count my blessings,” I continue to carry my own burdens, even though others are willing to bear the burden with me. And sometimes I don’t feel I deserve to be carried. And I get weighted down and don’t share my hurts with Jesus. I don’t feel the driving need to unburden my pain to Him or let Him carry it.

Even though Jesus knows every deep recess of our hearts, He still wants us to admit we hurt and to unload our pain and struggles to Him. To admit we are helpless without Him. With Him, not one thing we suffer is “too little” to be acknowledged and mentioned. His heart is full of compassion for us.

When we have compassion, we put ourselves in someone else’s shoes and really feel for them. What an absolutely perfect example we have in Jesus. He put Himself in our shoes and suffered in our place. And He still does as He watches over each of us, carrying our sorrow and our pain. He sees into our very souls and shares in our tears. He never dismisses our pain. He never says His pain is so much greater than anything we suffer, so we have nothing to complain about. He never says anything we hurt about is “too little” for Him to care about. He hears our buried longings begging to be carried by Him.

Yes, it can always be worse, but this doesn’t mean our pain isn’t real. Wherever we are feeling pain, stress, or heartache, whether physically, emotionally, mentally, spiritually, financially, etc., it’s worthy of attention. There are people who by God’s grace will show compassion, who are willing to help ease our burdens. Please don’t get discouraged if you cannot find them and if you are getting beaten down again and again. You are worthy of love and compassion. Remember, dear friends… There is one perfect Compassion-Giver Who cares so deeply, will never slight or belittle our concerns, and will never turn us away. He wants us to acknowledge we’re hurting and to freely bring all our burdens to Him. He not only loves to carry our burdens, but He even delights in doing so. And when we have no more strength to go on, He will gently lift us and carry us through.

“Because of Your great compassion
You did not abandon them in the wilderness.
By day the pillar of cloud did not fail
to guide them on their path,

nor the pillar of fire by night
to shine on the way they were to take.”

Nehemiah 9:19

“But You, Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God,
slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness.”
Psalm 86:15

Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed,
for His compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;
great is Your faithfulness.
Lamentations 3:22-23

“When He saw the crowds, He had compassion on them,
because they were harassed and helpless,
like sheep without a shepherd.”
Matthew 9:36

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort.”
2 Corinthians 1:3

“Compassion Hymn”
by Keith and Kristyn Getty

“And with compassion for the hurting You reached out Your hand,
As the lame ran to meet You and the dead breathed again.
You saw behind the eyes of sorrow and shared in our tears;
Heard the sigh of the weary, let the children draw near.”

Thank You, Lord Jesus,
for your unfailing compassion.
Please make us more like You with hearts
full of compassion towards the hurting.

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Linking up with: 

Holley – Coffee For Your Heart 

Jennifer – Tell His Story 

Kelly – Cheerleaders of Faith

God’s Plan Is Greater Than Ours

God's-Plan

The back of a tapestry can be jumbled up threads that don’t make sense at all, but if we turn it over, we find a beautiful picture. We can’t always make sense of God’s plan for us. We cannot always understand, but we just have to trust He has a beautiful picture in mind.

That’s so hard to do sometimes, isn’t it? To trust that God knows best? We may have big plans in our lives, but often God has another plan. Our plans are not always God’s plans. He has a plan for each of us before He even created us, and each of those plans fit into His grand design. He knows what He’s doing.


“For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways My ways,”
declares the Lord.
As the heavens are higher than the earth,

so are My ways higher than your ways
and My thoughts than your thoughts.”
Isaiah 55:8-9

If we look back on each of our lives, how many times did God have another plan than we did? Seasons of pain and suffering. Times of loss and heartache. Days of darkness where we wondered if God was really with us at all.

In the past I have wondered – If God loves us and all things are under His control, then why doesn’t He stop others from hurting us so deeply? How can all that pain be in God’s plan? But I realize now that God never wants to hurt us, but as humans we have a choice to choose, and some people choose evil towards us. Yes, God has the power to stop them, but sometimes He allows struggles in our lives so we will learn deep lessons and grow more into His likeness. We can’t always see it at the time, but in the end God always turns evil into good. He has plans to prosper us, not to harm us.

“For I know the plans I have for you,”
declares the Lord, “plans to
prosper you and not to harm you,
plans to give you hope and a future.”
Jeremiah 29:11

Back in the Old Testament times, Joseph never planned to be sold as a slave by his own brothers or later to be cast into prison for years for something he did not do, but God had plans for him. Joseph clung to God and His promises and became a blessing to many wherever he was at, and in the end he even became a ruler who was the means to save people from starvation during the years of drought. That included his brothers. Joseph forgave them and told them how God had planned all this.

“You intended to harm me, but God intended it
for good to accomplish what is now being done,
the saving of many lives.”
Genesis 50:20

In the New Testament, Mary was engaged to a different Joseph. Never did she expect God to conceive a seed in her that would be Jesus. She opened her heart and said “yes” to God’s plan even though she knew it would mean she would be slandered and scorned. And wow, look at what happened as a result! It was all a part of God’s plan to save us. Jesus who is God came down as a man so He could suffer in our place the punishment of our sins. God’s great plan of love, mercy, and grace to us.

However messed up or painful our lives are, God has a plan of love towards us. We will suffer troubles on this earth, and often we will not understand. But He is never going to leave us in them. He will help us through them. And when the pain is so deep, He can go to those deep places in our hearts and heal those broken, hurting places. The incomprehensible suffering He went through for us and His triumph over all evil will get us through whatever suffering we must go through in this life. And someday we will see the bigger picture and see how God’s plan is the most beautiful design we could ever imagine.

“No healthy Christian ever chooses suffering;
he chooses God’s will, as Jesus did,
whether it means suffering or not.”
~ Oswald Chambers

“All God’s plans have the mark of the cross on them,
and all His plans have death to self in them.”
~ E. M Bounds

“God will not permit any troubles to come upon us,
unless He has a specific plan by which
great blessing can come out of the difficulty.”
~ Peter Marshall

“When God Has Another Plan”
by the Greenes

Lord, please help us
to trust Your plan.
Please help us to say “yes”
to Your plans for us.

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Linking up with: 

Holley – Coffee For Your Heart 

Jennifer – Tell His Story 

Kelly – Cheerleaders of Faith

YOU Are the One Whom Jesus Loves

Jesus loves to the end

Dagger-throwing eyes and accusing fingers pointed at me, “You whore.” It was so real that I woke up with a thumping heart, a sinking spirit, and a strong urge to run and hide.

Memories flooded in, swallowing my spirit like quicksand. So many years ago when I was but a vulnerable young woman in youth group who needed help, many people did accuse me of being a “whore” instead of the pastor’s victim. When their mouths didn’t degrade me, their looks and silence did.

On the day of the dream, the three big Ds that abuse victims feel hit me full force and smothered me. Dirty. Damaged. Different.

As my husband and I sat outside on the patio, I told him how I was trying to remember what he always told me, “God knows the truth.” I kept trying to replace the lies with God’s Truth, but I still felt so downhearted.

I tried and tried to focus on Jesus and who I am in Him, but it seemed so hopeless. I tried to consider how precious I am in His sight. How His thoughts towards me outnumber the grains of sand on this earth. That’s a lot of thoughts! Yet still darkness crowded out the light in my heart.

“How precious are Your thoughts about me, O God.
They cannot be numbered!
I can’t even count them;
they outnumber the grains of sand!
And when I wake up,
You are still with me!”
Psalm 139:17-18 NLT

Then that afternoon I was reading a devotion and I came upon a verse:

“One of them, the disciple whom Jesus loved,
was reclining next to Him.”

John 13:23

I knew John is the one who was inspired to write the book of John, and yet it hadn’t sunk in before that John actually spoke this of himself. He considered himself “the disciple whom Jesus loved.” As he leaned against Jesus, he knew in his heart that he was the very beloved of Jesus.

Too often I still let past abuse and accusations define me, and it’s choking the joy out of my heart and life. It’s binding my wings, so that I cannot fly in Jesus. I can say I know Jesus loves me, but it doesn’t really sink into my heart that I am His beloved. His chosen. His precious child.

I took deep breaths in and cried, “I am the one whom Jesus loves!” Then every time I blew out, my heart shouted, “Get out of here, Satan!” I did this several times and comfort seeped into my heart along with a longing to truly believe and live as Jesus’ beloved one.

The negative voices of shame and insecurity and Satan’s lies become so strong sometimes in me. I deeply long to identify myself in who I am in Christ, not in the lies.

He loves you, too, my dear readers. YOU are “the one whom Jesus loves!” Many of you have had past or still do have experiences of some type of abuse, and perhaps you feel cloaked in shame. You feel so dirty, damaged, and different. But Jesus gives us a different identity in Him. He invites us to come to Him. Past abuse can burden us, but Jesus says His yoke is gentle and His burden is light. He doesn’t want us to carry the heavy burden of shame. On the cross He endured shame, degradation, and humiliation so we can be freed from it. Freed to fly!

“Come to Me, all you who labor
and are heavy-laden and overburdened,
and I will cause you to rest.
[I will ease and relieve and refresh your souls.]
Take My yoke upon you and learn of Me,
for I am gentle (meek) and humble (lowly) in heart,
and you will find rest (relief and ease and refreshment
and recreation and blessed quiet) for your souls.”
Matthew 11:28-29 AMP

“Jesus Loves Me”
by Chris Tomlin

May we believe with all our hearts
that we are the ones Jesus loves!

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Linking up with: 

Holley – Coffee For Your Heart 

Jennifer – Tell His Story 

Kelly – Cheerleaders of Faith

Bonnie – Faith Barista’s Beloved Brews