Monday, December 11, 2006

The Hard Lesson of Compassion

When I pray that God will give me attitudes like humility and compassion, I expect him to do it quickly and easily. I expect to go to bed proud and wake up humble. I expect that compassion will come easily for me after I pray about it. I do not expect that God will use the refiner’s fire to teach me these things. It’s true that God can grant us a change of heart over night, but many times he uses trials to teach us. I must admit that in the times when the trials come I get mad. Who am I to deserve such treatment? Doesn’t God know that I love him and seek to serve Him? Why must He deal with me so harshly?

But in reality who am I to say what I deserve? Who am I to question the road God asks me to walk? Don’t I know that God loves me and that He seeks the best for me? Don’t I know that His wisdom is far beyond mine? Don’t I trust Him? That’s the big question: Do I trust Him? Do I really, truly trust Him when things don’t make sense and are hard? I am learning to.

Recognizing that I am so broken is teaching me to deal much more gently with other people. Maybe they “can’t pull it together” either and who am I to stand above where they are in life? It is humbling to see that God is using me, in all my brokenness to minister to others.

Compassion is never really something I had for people. Through this brokenness God is teaching me a little bit more about His heart for people.

What a good God we serve!

John Piper:

“God ordains in the lives of his messengers that suffering severs our bondage to the world. When joy and love survive this severing, we are fit to say to the nations with authenticity and power: Hope in God.”

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