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35 And Jesus went throughout all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every affliction. 36 WHEN HE SAW THE CROWDS, HE HAD COMPASSION FOR THEM, BECAUSE THEY WERE HARASSED AND HELPLESS, LIKE SHEEP WITHOUT A SHEPHERD.
How does GOD see us? How does He feel about us? Does He care about us? All of these are pertinent questions; they are important questions; and I believe that the answers really determine how we look at reality. We can either become totally despondent, if we see Him as totally uncaring about us; we can become like the character in the poem INVICTUS: bravely facing the black unknown by ourselves. Or….we come away with a feeling of hope; we are filled with the joy of knowing that THINGS ARE IN HIS HANDS AND HE IS WORKING IT OUT; WE ARE GONNA BE OKAY.
The passage above provides us with some answers, some insight. We know that in the reality we exist in there is pain; there is disease; there is sickness; there is affliction. In other words: WE HAVE PROBLEMS—BIG PROBLEMS. But how are we handling this? Well, first consider that we are basically trying to handle life—WITHOUT GOD; were trying to do it “our way.” But instead of all of us working together for the common good, we appear to be a gaggle going nowhere; were just spinning around, bumping into each other, fighting each other—aimlessly rooting around. Is anybody helping us? No, not only are we fighting and harassing each other, there would appear to be outside influences that are harassing us, kicking us, afflicting us and generally helping in the process of destruction.
GOD doesn’t like this; He has compassion for us. So what does that mean? It means that He actually feels pity and distress over our situation and His deep desire is to alleviate our suffering.
GOD DOESN’T WANT US TO BE DESTROYED!
Do I take any pleasure in the death of the wicked? declares the Sovereign LORD. Rather, am I not pleased when they turn from their ways and live?
Now this isn’t the only time we are told in scripture that. GOD wants us to turn to Him. What He has in mind for us is essentially-- GREAT; it is SUPER! The apostles Paul and John tell us that we cannot begin to comprehend the good that GOD has intended for us. But here’s the problem: were stuck in a rut, big time! The rut keeps getting deeper and deeper and as it does we die more and more. We are diseased; we are being mutilated; we are deformed; we are infected with something that is killing us; we cannot see over the edge of the rut. So when GOD sees us, He is looking at us like a father watching his child die, something like a father watching his drug-addicted son or daughter.
Call to Me—ABBA, and I will answer; call on my name and you’ll see that my hand is reaching out to you; come home.