My phone rang as I was pulling out of the driveway yesterday and it was someone that I have just recently been able to meet and spend a wee bit of time with. Her name is Cathy Sims, and she was calling to let me know that she was sitting in my office waiting for me to come to work. We had planned to meet for coffee at 7:30, but we emailed and talked about getting together later after the holidays, so I took a little longer leaving the house. But when she called she said, “I decided just to come on and meet you here.” I was so thrilled and was in my office under 15 minutes! We got some coffee out of our break room and made our way to the little settee in my office.
As we sat and sipped and talked, I could tell right off this woman was a woman of the Word of God, but a woman FULL of compassion! Plum oozing full of it! She shared with me some of her life story and I could hear such hope in and dependency on the Father. As she talked, her little eyes sparkled with joy and trust in her Lord. Then, as I shared with her, she not only listened with compassion, she demonstrated it by taking me by the hands and began to pray right then, right there.
She led me to worship God and to call on Him in prayer.
She led me in how she listened.
She led me in how she trusted me with personal concerns.
She led me in her witness and in her compassionate ways of speaking.
Cathy leads others, too. There is no doubt in my mind. Because she is full of compassion and that is how Jesus leads.
“Moved with compassion, Jesus reached out…” Mark 1:41.
Cathy prayed and then I had the honor of praying for her and the compassion of Jesus Christ guided our every word.
During our visit, another friend came to the office and she told us how she obeyed God in taking the gifts and talents He has given her and began intentionally using them for HIS glory, and how her life has never been the same since. As she talked, Cathy and I both teared up hearing her testimony in simply wanting to serve the Lord with every ability He has given her. It was, again, a glory-story that Cathy and I both were so thankful to have heard in how God’s compassion led our friend to read a sign in TX that was “the turning point” in her life. (More to come….I’m keeping this friend’s name a little secret because she and I are going to be sharing more on her story very soon!!)
After Cathy left, I realized … not only did God have her show up there because HE wanted us two to come together, but there was a “prayer work” that needed to be done, for our good and His glory. I can’t TELL you how much I can’t wait to pray with her again. The genuineness I felt from this friend and faith-family member of mine was just too much to take in. Have you ever met someone and within only a few short minutes, you just knew God was at work behind it all? He had decided that “for such a time as this” it was time for me and Cathy to come together. SO thankful, too!!!
Compassion – The nature of God. Cathy led me yesterday in so many ways because she led with compassion. John MacArthur has said of this Christ-like Compassion:
Throughout the ministry of Jesus, the sympathy, the compassion, the kindness and the sufficiency of God for every human need was on display. If you studied the Old Testament, of course, you find out that God is merciful and God is compassionate and God is kind and the Old Testament is filled with indications of that, both by statement and by illustration. The compassion of God, however clearly illustrated in the Old Testament, was never illustrated as clearly as in the life of Jesus Christ. Never do we see God as clearly as we see Him in Jesus Christ. He brings God to us in ways that we would never otherwise understand. And so when we see Jesus, we see everything that is true about God being manifest: great power, great wisdom, great consistency, and great sympathy and compassion.
Human ignorance draws the compassion of God. Human weariness draws the compassion of God. Human suffering draws the compassion of God. Literally the verb in Matthew 14:14 — and it says He felt compassion — is esplanchnisthē. He felt it in the gut. It churned in His stomach. You know what it is to have that kind of anxiety? It hurt Him. This is the compassion of God.
He cares about our physical weariness.
He cares about our suffering.
And most importantly, He cares about our eternal souls. He has compassion on a weary servant. He has compassion on a suffering person’s life. He has compassion, most of all, on an ignorant soul.
And if you are to be a representative of Jesus Christ, if you are to belong to Christ, if you are to name His name, then you ought to walk the way He walked. And what the world needs to see from us is this same kind of compassion.
We need to be those who understand weariness, those who understand suffering, those who come with compassion to both of those, even though they’re on a temporal level, but who most of all are consumed with compassion for the lives of people.
Praying for someone as they have poured out their heart to you is not only an indication of a deep and personal relationship with Christ, but it is also a sure sign of the all-consuming compassion of the Lord.
So yesterday, the Lord wanted me to not only know He sees me, He not only wanted Cathy to know He sees her, too, He wanted us to know something about Him in the most personal of ways and that is this ….