This may end up being random thoughts, but I hope through these ramblings God has a message for us.
My grandson is in the hospital. He’s only one. He has been in several times since his birth with several minor problems. This time it was a high temperature and ear infections. This morning I was texting my daughter and she was in anguish. She stepped out of the room so they could take some blood. She could hear him crying and it was hard on her. I told her this was the hard part of being a parent. A certain scripture came to mind. God was sharing with me again. We know Jesus is on the cross and is near death when we hear him cry out, “About three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” (which means “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”).Matthew 27:46 Just like Kim was in anguish I am wondering if seeing His Son in so much pain took God’s breath away and He wept also. I believe Kim stepped out of the room so she didn’t have to watch her son go through that, maybe God turned His back so He didn’t have to watch…the pain was too much for the both of them.
After a few minutes Kim went back in and in my mind I can see her holding Luke and comforting him and telling him it would be okay. I am sure she kissed him and held him tenderly. We also know after a while Jesus went to be with God. I am sure God took Jesus and held Him in his arms and kissed Him tenderly and comforted Him also. What a sweet reunion for them both.
So what does that teach us? That God sees and knows our pain. That God hurts and cries when we are in pain. I have been in so much pain a few times in my life and when I have been in that much pain there is a span of time I can’t feel God and I wonder if He even knows. When those times happen I believe that is when God is sobbing so hard for us that He can’t bear to watch. Then all of a sudden He like a mother or father gains His composure and comes in just the right time to comfort us and to hold us near to Him. I know I have felt those times when after not being able to feel Him for however brief it was I can feel Him as close to me as before and there are times I can even feel He’s closer to me than before. The joy that comes with that is beyond compare. “Psalm 34:18 The LORD is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.” So we know God knows our pain and cares for us.
The other scripture God shared with me this morning is the Prodigal Son found in Luke 15:11-32. It’s not the son I want us to focus on, but the father. Verse 20 says, “So he got up and went to his father. “But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.” I wondered how the two go together; one is about compassion in pain and when we are hurting and the other shows a father who has compassion when the son returns from a life of free living. God opened my eyes and revealed to me that’s exactly like Him. It doesn’t matter if we are in pain or we are living a life of sin. He’s still there for us. He still has compassion on us no matter the circumstance. In the Prodigal Son you see the father is watching for the son to return and when he does we know there is much rejoicing. We can be assured if we are not living in accordance to God’s word God is patiently waiting and watching for us to come back to Him and when we do there will be rejoicing and partying going on. There is a song that has these words in it, “God’s grace is bigger than your worse mistake.” I love that song and it’s true, no matter how bad you think you are or no matter what you’ve done your Heavenly Father is standing at the gate watching and waiting for you to come home. When you do you will feel His arms around you and His compassion for you will be beyond measure.
God taught me about His compassion and caring ways this morning. He taught me to remember when I have pain that is sometimes unbearable and for a brief instance if I can’t feel God it may be because He’s grieving right along with me and can’t stand to see the pain. But, remember God never leaves us. He will be with us all along and at the right time we will feel His comfort and we will feel Him tenderly put His arms around us and we will be comforted.
He also taught me when I have messed up not to fear. That He still has compassion for me then too. All I need to know is He’s waiting at the gate for my safe return. Yes, I need to repent and ask for forgiveness, but after I do my actions are soon forgotten and the celebration begins. I can feel His compassion and His caring ways as I enter into His loving arms once more.
Where are you today? Are you in pain and wondering why you can’t feel God? Hang on He might be gaining His composure and when He does you will feel His arms around you and you’ll know He’s right there with you. He hasn’t left you; He’s just sobbing with you.
Are you the Prodigal Son and afraid to go home? Don’t be afraid. God is waiting with open arms and full of compassion for you. He’s preparing a celebration in your honor; all you have to do is show up and ask for forgiveness and know its all well with God.
Dear God: Thank you for teaching me about compassion and your caring ways. I can take comfort the next time I am in pain and for those few brief minutes when I can’t feel you I will know it’s because you are sobbing with me. I will know as a parent it’s hard for you to see my pain. Then just as quick I will feel your comforting arms around me and know everything is fine. Also, Dear God, when I sin never let me be afraid to run back to you. Thank you for the prodigal son story and for letting me know you are waiting at the gate for me. May I never miss the opportunity to repent and seek your forgiveness. It’s not so much about the party as it is finding compassion in you and knowing we are good again. Thanks for lessons that teach me and help me grow along the way. Amen