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Archive for July, 2012

A need for compassion

“Be anxious for nothing….why can’t you just do that? Just quit being anxious! Where is your faith?”

…they neither toil nor spin…

This is what whirls around and around in my head when anxiety and fear take hold of me.  And with these words, an idea of a displeased, finger shaking God stands before me condemning my sin and lack of courage, a God that I can never please and will always disappoint, a God that…. that I imagine. And therein lies my greater sin – an image of God who is not the God of the Bible.

Last night these thoughts plagued me. How can I educate my children? I lack so much self discipline myself, so how can I keep up with the discipline needed to teach my children? What do I think I’m doing? What do I think I’m doing with the lives of my children? The struggle. The work load. The attitudes. The love needed. The patience needed. Juggling. Day in, day out. How will I do it?

And then I recognized my anxious heart, my despair overcoming my faith. A false image of God, shaking his head stood before me. I moved from my anxious thoughts to seeing my failure to trust in God once again, and once again my hope evaporated. “You just can’t get it right. Will you ever learn to just do what is commanded?”

But with morning, I remembered and found grace! I remembered something that briefly crossed my mind earlier in the week.

Jesus has compassion.

It seems so simple, yet I tend to forget. When Jesus spoke to the masses or individuals who were seeking help, he never used harsh words or condemned them. It was only to the self righteous and those who didn’t see their need of a savior who received words of condemnation. But for those who were lowly, who sought light, who knew their great need, Jesus had compassion. I love that word compassion.

So why wouldn’t Jesus, my God, have compassion on me, his lowly child? Why would he be harsh with his child who wants and need his help?  Well, he does have compassion and isn’t harsh. He forgives my anxious heart, my fearful mind, my forgetfulness. He looks on me with compassion.

The Lord is gracious and full of compassion,
Slow to anger and great in mercy.
The Lord is good to all,
And His tender mercies are over all His works.

Psalm 145:8-9

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“Do you believe God loves you?” The question my dear husband asked meImage one night.

“Not always.” I responded sadly knowing that unbelief is just another of my failings.  You see I struggle with doubts.  I know I’m not worthy to be loved, to be a child of God, to have my sins forgiven, to have an eternal inheritance, to be able to come before a holy God.  It’s just too much to comprehend at times and doesn’t make since to my muddled mind. I sometimes think I need to DO something so that I might find favor with God. I at least I need to quit failing every day. Don’t I need to work hard for His love? But I can’t, it seems; because I flounder, fail, and fall. So, I wonder, I doubt, I feel despair.

He loves me. He loves me not….

Yet, I do believe because God is unchangeable unlike me. He is true. He loves. He is full of compassion. He did what I couldn’t do.  He does not fail or flounder. He is all that I am not.  But why is God mindful of me?  Why does he set His affection on me? I really don’t know, but I am so thankful that He has and does love me. Holding onto the truth is all I can do when my sin stands up and mocks me. Holding onto the truth is how joy comes in the morning after a night’s weeping.  Holding onto the truth is what keeps me on my knees before my God who does love me and forgives me and calls me His child. And I say just as one tearful father long ago said, “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!

“This I recall to my mind, therefore I have hope: Through the LORD’s mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” Lamentations 3: 21-23

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