Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep (Romans 12:15).
I recently asked God to give me a greater compassion for
people. I had felt as though I was becoming callused to the pains and problems of others,
almost numb to their life situations. I did not like the way it seemed as though I was not
stirred by some of the troubles or even tragedies that fell on some people.
And so I asked--I asked God to give me that greater compassion and He did. That is not to
say that I do not still need improvement because I most certainly do. For I find it all
too easy to slip back into a cycle of caring only for my own and what concerns my
immediate world. But as I began to ask, and as God granted my request, I noticed some
differences. For it was not long thereafter before a number of people were laid off at my
work place. But where I might have been numb to their troubles only a short time ago, I
now found that my heart had dropped for them, and it was as though their troubles were
somehow more than just theirs.
As I prayed for the people who had lost their jobs, I could not help wonder how many of
them did not know Jesus. I realized that if I were to lose my job, it would be something
different than what they were experiencing. For I know that my God shall supply all of my
need--but what did they know? And what kinds of questions were they asking now that they
were thrown this curve? I realized that it could be rough for someone who knows Jesus, but
I prayed that those who did not know Him would somehow find Him in this, so that they
could find a peace in the middle of the crisis.
"When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them..."
There are several accounts in the Bible where we are told that Jesus had compassion.
That is not surprising. But it is seldom left at that. To read further
into these accounts, we will discover that the compassion He felt was always followed by
action. His compassion was not a simple feeling of pity for others; it was much
more. He looked at them, and felt for them, and then "being moved with
compassion," He did something about it. He healed, He fed, and He reached out
in whatever manner the situation called for.
It is good for us to pray for a heart felt compassion toward others, but our love for
others should not stop there. We may also want to pray that, along with
compassion, that God will give us wisdom to know how to respond to the needs we see
within the compassion.
May God grant us the ability to see the needs, to take
compassion, and to act accordingly--even as Jesus had done.