My family and I have been away on vacation this week. Our favorite place to go gives us ample opportunity to hike and enjoy the serenity of nature. And, thankfully, we have been able to enjoy multiple hikes.
Being outdoors, in the peace and quiet of nature, with only the sound of waterfalls, birds, and the rustling of leaves, is like soothing music to my weary soul.
Having the everyday noises removed, even for a short time period, enables me to focus on hearing other things more clearly. And, one thing I really wanted to focus on this week was hearing the Lord.
I often seem to be taken by surprise when I seek the Lord and He answers. I’m not sure why that is. Perhaps because I am afraid I will miss the reply, not hear it, not see it, not be present in the moment He chooses to respond.
Regardless, He always responds. For me, one thing I have been asking for is eyes to see my weaknesses, my failures, and clarity on how to change those things.
So, knowing I have issues, I go to God. I refuse to sit passively by and believe the lie that I am fine the way I am. I’m a sinner. There is no perfection here! I fail often. I fail much. Yet, God is willing and able to change me, break my chains, give me freedom and set me free.
Sorry, I’m taking the long way around! Like our hiking this week. Never take the half-mile trail! Instead, intersect with three other trails, cut across here, go over there….four miles later you arrive.
This week God lovingly and kindly pointed out one of my weaknesses. I can lack a heart of compassion. Not because I don’t care about people. Not because I don’t love others. Simply because my back story, my history, my past dealings, have dictated that compassion can be dangerous.
This isn’t a counseling blog, so I won’t go into details of who I am, why am I am this way, what occurred to make my thoughts such. Instead, I will just say, pain and trauma of all types, perpetuate false ideas into our thinking that is often difficult to overcome.
And, as I asked God for some clarity, this is what He showed me. I need more compassion at times. Though my thinking is very black and white, super clear to me, it’s okay to take a pause and feel something.
As I was reading Ezekiel this week, this verse moved me, and it was here that God spoke to my heart and said, “This! This is what you need!”
“Now it came about as I prophesied, that Pelatiah son of Benaiah died. Then I fell on my face and cried out with a loud voice and said, “Alas, Lord God! Will You bring the remnant of Israel to a complete end?” Ezekiel 11:13
What was happening was a judgment from God, that He told Ezekiel was coming, and told him to prophesy about. Yet, when it happened, Ezekiel was distraught. He knew Israel was lost, straying, rebellious, but he was still distraught when judgment fell.
I want that type of compassion. The kind that continues to see right and wrong, but allows for compassion towards those that suffer from their poor choices, mistakes, rebellion. A compassion that keeps praying when all seems lost. A compassion that keeps offering a hand, knowing that it might be rejected. A compassion that accepts the hardened and rebellious while realizing change is not in my control, but theirs. I want that kind of compassion. I need that kind of compassion.
A heart of compassion.
God has that towards me. God has that towards you. Let’s work on having it towards each other.