One morning, I asked my 4-year-old son to stop playing Xbox because it was time for breakfast. He got mad and threw his game controller. As his punishment, he wasn’t permitted to play Xbox for the rest of the day. He immediately started bawling—it was still early in the day, and for him, waiting until tomorrow was like waiting an eternity. He was so upset at himself and seemed genuinely sorry for his poor behavior. As I watched him, I felt so bad for him. I didn’t undo his punishment, but I asked if he wanted to snuggle to feel better. He sat on my lap for a little while until he calmed down.
At that moment, I think I gained some insight into how God might feel as he observes us growing spiritual grit. I had the power to take away what was causing my son’s distress. But I was enforcing the punishment to make sure he grew as a person. I felt compassion for him, and I was pleasantly surprised that my son allowed me to comfort him. It seems counterintuitive to accept comfort from the one who could take away your pain but doesn’t—especially when you couldn’t possibly understand that the pain is in your best interest.
34 “Where have you put him?” he asked them. They told him, “Lord, come and see.” 35 Then Jesus wept. 36 The people who were standing nearby said, “See how much he loved him!”
As we continue the story of Lazerus, I can begin to understand how Jesus could weep with his friends, even though he had the power to prevent the very death they were mourning. Jesus has compassion; he suffers with us. Even though he knew that he would raise Lazarus back to life, he wept. God is affected by what affects us.
God knows what life will look like for us after COVID-19. He also has the power to take the disease away in an instant. Since he hasn’t, we need to have faith that this trial is God’s plan for us. He has compassion for us as our routines are uprooted and we are experiencing fear, worry, and uncertainty. He wants us to seek comfort from him—to trust that he is good and that he can use this world-changing event to transform us into the people he wants us to be.
Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.
How have you experienced God’s compassion when you’ve gone through hard times?
How has God been transforming you during this uncertain time?
One way I seek comfort from God is to take a “walk with Jesus.” If you have a space to do this (make sure wherever you go is not heavily populated and that you can stay six feet away from others), take a pen, journal, and maybe a way to listen to some worship music. Imagine Jesus walking right next to you. Spend your walk praying, asking for him to reveal to you how he is transforming your heart. Use your journal to write down anything you learn during this time and look back at it when you can’t get out to walk.
Jesus, I read these verses and am reminded of just how much you know me. You know me personally. You understand me. I am reminded that what affects me affects you. You don’t stand by, aloof and out of touch. You suffer with us. You are compassionate toward us and filled with love for us, and this truth brings me peace and rest. It’s right there that I put my trust in you for today. My heart is filled with love for you, Father. Thank you for your love and compassion toward me. Amen.
This post was written by Ashlee Grosjean. Ashlee is a blogger at GratefulSheep.com and a stay-at-home mom and wife. She loves writing for this team, and she hopes to help convey God’s message through this study.
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