Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Experiencing the Father's Heart: part 2

Have you ever had an experience where you wondered where God was in it?
Jesus is the picture into the heart of our Heavenly Father, so every time Scripture highlights a picture of Jesus demonstrating his Father’s heart, we know that it is meant for us, his followers, too.

I have been moved deeply by this window of our Father’s heart:

Soon afterward Jesus went with his disciples to the village of Nain, and a large crowd followed him. 12 A funeral procession was coming out as he approached the village gate. The young man who had died was a widow’s only son, and a large crowd from the village was with her. 13 When the Lord saw her, his heart overflowed with compassion. “Don’t cry!” he said. 14 Then he walked over to the coffin and touched it, and the bearers stopped. “Young man,” he said, “I tell you, get up.” 15 Then the dead boy sat up and began to talk! And Jesus gave him back to his mother. Luke 7:11-15
Imagine the scene. Jesus is with his disciples and they see a funeral procession pass them. They could have stopped and prayed for the grieving mother, but Jesus went a step further when he stepped into the situation."

He did it by observing the heart of the mother: her grief, her pain, her loss. To be a widow in Jesus’ day without a son to support her basically turned the mother into a begger. She was literally all alone.

Jesus cares about us being alone. When we are laid off from our jobs, he is present with us. When we learn of a frightening illness, he is there. When we hear news of a distressing family situation, he moves into the scene.

Jesus cared about a woman who was alone. He cared so much that he let his heart overflow with compassion. He didn’t turn away because he was too busy, too important, or too weak. He walked into the funeral procession and touched the coffin. He spoke to the dead son and told him to get up. Immediately the boy sat up and demonstrated his new life by talking!

Can you imagine it?
How would you feel if you were his mother?
Would you be more overwhelmed by getting your son back or by the miracle Jesus performed?

I think if it happened to me, I would be most overwhelmed by the reality that Jesus took the time to step into my world because he cared. His heart overflowed with compassion.

This week, let’s make a decision to look for Jesus in our own situations. Let’s remember that he didn’t step away from pain, he entered into it. He does the same with us.

Take time to look for his presence. When you see it, write it down or tell someone as a way of honoring what he did. Take time to let the words, “his heart overflowed with compassion” wash over you and bring you to a new understanding of the Father’s love for you.

Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death?
No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us.
38 And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demonsneither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. 39 No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:35,37-39

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