“The Lord is very compassionate and merciful.” James 5:11 (HCSB)
I’m not always a very compassionate person, especially when it comes to illness in my family. I joke with my husband that he’s allowed to be sick for two days, and after that I’m fresh out of amazing and mercy. Sadly it’s more true than I’d care to admit. In the years before we were married I’d allowed my very bitter and hardened heart to create a mindset that was adamantly against relying on anyone for anything. If I was sick, I’d take care of myself and push through to do what I needed to do anyway. No complaining.
And the high (and unreasonable) expectation I set for myself was passed unfairly to my family. Sure I’ll kiss pretend boo-boo’s for my kiddo and snuggle her when she doesn’t feel well, but there is a constant battle in my head and heart to keep going when her need for continued attention conflicts with my need for space.
But as God continues to meet me in my mess and transform my heart, He’s showing me what it’s like to be compassionate toward my family – and myself. He never runs out of time or energy or space to comfort me when I need it – He is very compassionate and merciful. And as God calls me to love – love myself, my family, my community – He’s asking me to specifically lay down this area of my selfishness for the sake of those around me. To stop wondering when they’ll stop needing me and to appreciate the blessing of being needed.
Lord, you are compassionate and merciful – may our hearts reflect yours as we pour into our communities. Fill us to overflowing with an abundance of grace and love, and when we feel empty, may we always run back to You.