One morning my husband and I were sitting at our table by the kitchen window leisurely eating our breakfast, as we watched a wasp walking around on the screen. From its appearance we could tell that the wasp was “trapped” between the screen and the window, unable to find the way out.
After about two days of watching that wasp walk around on the screen, we both became aware that our feelings toward this insect was changing. Usually we have a great dislike for wasps. Usually we get out the insect spray and with a vengeance go after the wasp nests, happily watching them fall as the poisonous spray overwhelms them. Usually there is absolutely no compassion in our hearts because we are at war, fighting the enemy, defending ourselves/our children/our grandchildren/ and our great-grandchildren and others from the hurtful sting of the wasp.
But now, as we watch this vulnerable insect, we are not afraid of it, we do not want to kill it, we actually feel pity and want to help it and set it free. As I pondered on our brief time of concern for this helpless trapped insect, it brought to mind the true compassion of our great God toward us—sinful, rebellious, self-willed, selfish creatures that we are. “He remembers we are dust.” Psalm 103:14
While our feelings toward this insect did not cause us to set it free, because we knew of its potential to harm, yet God, knowing our hearts, in His great love, still sent his only begotten Son to actually die for us. Matthew Henry says compassion is “love and concern which leads to action,” and that is exactly what God felt toward us. Our simple momentary feelings toward the wasp was pity and ended there. We took no action to show we cared.
But God’s Word has much to say about His compassion. Here are just a few gems to stir our hearts and perhaps cause us to search the Scriptures and seek to know more about our Compassionate God:
Psalm 78:38 “But He, being full of compassion, forgave their (our) iniquities.”
Psalm 86:15 “But Thou, O Lord, art a God full of compassion, and gracious, long suffering and plentious in mercy and truth.”
Micah 7:19 “He will have compassion on us; He will tread our iniquities under foot.”
Then Lamentations 3:22 says “It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is Thy Faithfulness.” This verse encourages our hearts, for our Heavenly Father’s compassion is not a one time happening—-it is new every morning. Each day can be a fresh new rejoicing day.
Through daily repentance and forgiveness we can go forth in the strength and power of the Holy Spirit which dwells in us. Then we can show forth this same compassion and concern for others.
The Better Way: Remembering God’s great compassion brings great rest, peace and joy and stirs our hearts to reach out to others in warmth, sensitivity and tenderness.