God Of All Compassion

Seeing the God of all compassion…even in difficult times…

He needs compassion and comfort…

God of all Compassion

He doesn’t know where to find either.

His career has ended on a lie…

“I’m retiring,” he tells people…

But that is not the truth…

He isn’t retiring…

He is fleeing…

Fleeing the biggest failure of his life…

Failure is difficult for him to accept.

He’s always thought God gave him special skills…

Great gifts…

Gifts that protected him from failure.

He’s seen other people fail, of course…

And been dismissive of their pain…

“If they just worked harder,” he’d think…

Sometimes, in pride, he’d pray…

“Thank you, God, for making me smarter than most people.”

His own failure is unexpected…

In his first few years at the church, attendance had doubled…

Another success in an illustrious career.

If his next project is successful, maybe he’ll become a bishop.)

He hears the rumors and thanks God for making him such an exceptional person.

Then one day as he sits in his office, he hears shouting outside his window…

Protestors marching in front of the church door…

“Save our neighborhood!” their signs read.

News crews arrive…

TV, radio, newspapers all carry the story…

The growing church is buying land for a new parking lot.

The homes in question are crack houses.

But protests grow…

Blocking church entrances on Sundays.

With media attention and protests, Attendance drops.

He preaches sermons about the good things he wants to do – Why can’t people understand God’s will?

Church members choose sides.

Attendance drops again.

The church becomes known as “That parking lot church.”

Finally, he meets with the protestors.

They seek compassion.

He has not to give.

Today, months later…

He picks up a report of the latest church attendance figures.

He can’t believe the numbers.

The church no longer needs a bigger parking lot.

Failure.

His failure.

Now he is the one who needs compassion and comfort and forgiveness.

A Bible passage comes to mind…

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction,

He realizes how seldom he has turned to God for comfort and compassion…

How he has regarded the need for comfort and compassion as a sign of weakness…

In himself and in others.

He thinks of the next lines of the passage…

so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.  2 Corinthians 1:3-4

And realizes that in his refusal to accept God’s comfort and compassion…

He has had none to offer others.

He prays again…

A very different prayer than before…

“God, thank You for these difficult times…For letting me see and feel your compassion.

“For You are the one true source of all compassion…

“The God of all compassion …”

“I don’t know where you’ll send me next, but let me take your compassion and comfort with me; let me share it with everybody I meet…”

Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience…  Colossians 3:12

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