When I was a teenager if I wanted the car on Friday night, I’d start early in the week asking my dad for it. Usually, until Thursday evening when I asked what his answer was, he say: “I don’t know, I’m still thinking about it.” And, I’d always think, impatiently: “Well, at least he didn’t say no!” Come Friday…sometimes I got the car, sometimes I didn’t.
There are those times you ask God for an answer to prayer and you don’t get it. You pray and pray. And so, you assume that God has said no to your plea. But God’s delays are not God’s denials. Remember, God’s timing is perfect. It may not be the moment you really need that prayer answered. You need to wait.
How do you know the difference between delay and denial? I don’t know. Perhaps, it’s the peace that you feel about one or the other. But, don’t assume God has denied you, when, maybe, he’s only delayed your answer.
Yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end. Ecclesiastes 3:11
Hard breaks are part of life. You hear about tragedies everyday. Bad things happen to and move you to the point where you’re not sure you can even cope. It can get to the place where just living day-to-day is a struggle. Where do you go for help? What if you don’t think you can get through it all?
The young man who had died was a widow’s only son, and a large crowd from the village was with her. When the Lord saw her, his heart overflowed with compassion. “Don’t cry!” he said. Luke 7
One place you can find help is Jesus. He’s compassionate, he feels concern for your sufferings. It says in the scripture today “his heart overflowed with compassion” for this widow who had lost her only son. When something overflows it’s so full the contents just run all over the place, going everywhere. Now, that’s compassion, concern. That’s who you want to care about you.
Good day. Bad days. Horrible days…on those days try looking to the one whose compassion is so big, it just can’t be contained. He’ll be there to help you get your life back.
The Psychology Today website provides a way to find a therapist, psychiatrist, or treatment center in your area. You can sort by price, gender, or alphabetical order. If you look under Family Conflict Therapists, you won’t believe how many there are. Twenty some to a page and there are pages and pages…and that’s just for one city! We’d like to think families get along, but we know better. There are relationship issues. Step-family issues. Financial issues. Adolescent issues. Medical issues. A family can be full of conflict.
When conflict happens, we usually take one of three paths: We fight, we take flight, or we ignore it. None of these is a healthy response to conflict. The Biblical response to conflict is to seek peace.
Now, all conflict isn’t bad. Some will cause growth and bonding. But, when conflict interferes with your relationships and is making your life a struggle, then it needs to be addressed.
(Jesus speaking) You must be compassionate, just as your Father is compassionate. Luke 6
Where does God stand in this? God does not want you to resolve your conflict alone. When we honor him and seek his help in finding peace, he says he will help us, get us on the track to really living life again. Perhaps, the place to start, God says, is in being compassionate. Being empathetic and understanding. Putting yourself in the shoes of the other people involved. That’s the beginning of finding peace.
In your conflicts you don’t have to beat your head against the wall. God is waiting for you to ask for his help. Why don’t you try him today.
Did you watch the episode of “The Bachelorette” in which Doug gave Emily the cringe-worthy kiss? He leans in, at a most inappropriate time, and gives her a quick awkward kiss. She’s in the process of explaining to him that she’s sending him home. Uh oh. What I like about Emily, though, is her compassion for others. In her explanation she is gentle, allowing him to be let down easy, and she’s sincere about it. It’s part of her nature to care about the feelings of others and to try to convey that genuinely. She was still honest with him, but the way she was honest shows her compassion.
Sympathize with each other. Love each other as brothers and sisters. Be tenderhearted, and keep a humble attitude. 1 Peter 3
Compassion is a character trait that comes from a relationship with God. It’s complicated on occasion showing care and concern for others. They may have hurt you. You may not like them. Or, you simply may not know them. However, compassion will enable you to convey a deep feeling of love and concern that will move you to meet others’ distress, struggles, and needs. That’s what Emily was doing with Doug. She was honest, but she showed concern for him nevertheless.
Having compassionate people in your life is wonderful. But, how about you? Might you become a compassionate person yourself and help others?
Watch here to see a deleted scene where Doug explains to his bros what happened: http://youtu.be/YXXqjBySuuE