“Lord, teach me compassion,” I prayed, “Show me how to love these people around me. Help me to understand their pain. Break my heart for what breaks Yours.”
A few months later, as I was praying and looking back at my journal entries from around that time, I realized that God had given me what I asked for. And it was in ways I never would have expected. In ways that hurt! I am so thankful for the things I learned, though. I would truly be a very different person without this lesson in compassion. 🙂
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ. – 2 Corinthians 1:3-5 (NIV)
One of the things that surprised me in how God taught me my lesson in compassion was that the things that I experienced in the learning of compassion were very different hurts than those the people around me (those I was being compassionate towards!) had. But guess what? It didn’t matter. In the Scripture above, it says, ‘Who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble.’ It reminds me of another verse in 1 Peter 5:9 (NIV):
Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings.
No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it. –1 Corinthians 10:13 (NIV, emphasis mine).
In our hurts and our struggles, it is easy to feel like one is so very different than another. And yes, they are, but at the same time… they aren’t so much. There are differences, for sure, but, drumroll… here’s the key: ‘so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.’ Of course God’s the key! Even if you haven’t experienced suffering, and feel unqualified to say “I understand” to someone needing compassion, God is not unqualified. He sees and feels every pain that there is on earth. Like the song Come As You Are by David Crowder says, “Earth has no sorrow that heaven can’t heal”… that God can’t heal. God understands exactly where each person is, and He understands their pain. The key to compassion is simple: let God work through me. Ask Him for wisdom about what to say and do. Rely on Him for His understanding.
Compassionately in Christ,
Hello, my name is Sara! I am also fifteen years old, I am a black-mold fighter, and I like to read, write, act, make jewelry, and have adventures. Most of which tend to be with my family whether it’s a long hike up a mountain or a fun new board game. I also write for Th!nk magazine, a free, online, Christian magazine: mythinkmag.wordpress.com. One of my favorite Scriptures is Psalm 34:5: “Those who look to Him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame.”