Yesterday was a full day.  I realized for the first time since beginning to write morning devotionals that I hadn’t written one.  It was noon!  Where did the time go?  So I sat down and thought.  Kindness.  

After sleeping on that, this morning God gave me the direction for the next few days.  Write about the virtues of an active Christian life.  We don’t often think “so what virtue will I build into my daily life?”.  Perhaps this is part of the virtue of virtues (Snigger!). Yes, there is a benefit to recognizing that virtues are developed out of a larger perspective:  having Christ in our lives transforms our understanding of who we are, what is of value, and how we can be more of Christ and less of ourselves.

Virtues are kind of a sidebar to our development of spiritual habits.  Whether we are praying more, seeking ways to serve others for Christ, worshipping alone, or with others in any form, from small gatherings to online services, or studying and reflecting on God’s word, each has an impact on our spirit and soul.

As we develop these spiritual disciplines we become more aware. Aware of God’s presence, mercy, compassion, love, grace.  The list is endless.  Encountering any facet of the litanies of God’s character is a revelation.  Read the story in Matthew 6: 25-34 about worry.  Jesus looks upon the crowds that are following him, seeing more than people, but into their souls, wracked with all kinds of concerns, questions, fears.  Fears about what they will eat, wear, how they will survive.  

Jesus, in holy and true compassion, speaks to the very essence of their need.  He says, “Don’t worry.”  Now that is a tall order isn’t it!  Some of us make a profession out of worrying.  We may know someone who has actually earned a doctorate in worrying!  We can joke about it, but worrying is debilitating.  Worry stops us from moving forward in life.  We become immobilized. We tend to settle into the “worr’a space”, building on one worry after the other.  In short notice, worry can consume our every thought, erasing out any room for life. Life that includes joy, gratitude, hope, and especially trust.  

Worry eats trust up like my grandson eats dessert, with amazing gusto, even when there is still food on his dinner plate.  Worry can become such a normal way of thinking that is becomes our comfort zone. There are some, who, if there is nothing to worry about, will create something to worry about.  Now that is sort of crazy-making isn’t it?  Crazy for the person who needs to feel unsettled to feel right, and crazy-making for the people around them, who have no understanding of why this person is creating problems that are not even there.

Trust is key to banishing the worry syndrome.  Trust in God.  Worry feeds on the reality that we are not in control.  We fight for control over circumstances, people, even ourselves at times knowing that there is little that we can change.  God breaks in and speaks truth through Jesus, saying, “Therefore, not worry… about what you will eat, …or drink… or wear”.  Compassion resonates through these admonishments.  All the things that can pull us away from the benefits of trusting in God are given perspective.

Jesus is constantly placing the goodness of God before us, so that we can receive and live life to the fullness we were intended to experience.  These beautiful words of Jesus are compassionate.  Giving without harming.  Speaking hard truths, but offering healing and hope to us.  Never withdrawing the mercy and compassion that we are coming to know is of God.  

Jesus reveals the nature of God to us in transforming ways. Being on the receiving end of compassion is heart awakening.  We see God with us, accompanying us with gracious compassion.  We feel the love of God, not judgement, for our shortcomings.  We know the acceptance of God and the healing energy of compassion that re-shapes us into trusting and knowing that God has Us.

God has got this, whatever is our worry.  God offers compassion to You, whatever your need.  May we experience the compassion from God, so that we can be more compassionate to others. I love you, pray for you, and trust in God for our needs.

Pastor Lisa

“But strive first for the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” Matthew 5:33


Compassion Hymn Live.       Embrace God’s Compassion!
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