Compassion

Is it possible to be poured out and yet be more full than before?

Is there a fire that quenches thirsting?

These are questions that have haunted me. The first one was a longing that rested deep in my heart throughout so many years of serving. After giving and giving and serving and serving, I would find myself lying depleted at the feet of Jesus. I let Him pour His heart more deeply into mine, and then I would return to serving.  Inevitably, the cycle would begin again. Fill up, serve, deplete. Fill up, serve, deplete.  . . . Something was missing.

 

And then the fires began. In my joints, in my aching bones, and in my searing soul, the fires brought a thirsting I did not know I was capable of feeling. How long until this dry season would be changed to life giving rain?

 

Instead of being filled, I was emptied.

Instead of being relieved, the heat became hotter.

 

And in the middle of the weak and weary days, God spoke a word last January that felt impossible for me:

 

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The point was not lost on me. Of course I was and am INsufficient. There is only ONE who can meet that title, and He has spent this last year uncovering more of His all-sufficient grace than I ever dreamed possible.

 

“But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” 2 Corinthians 12:9 NIV

 

He carried me when I thought I could not stand. He kept me resting when I thought the weary rest-less-ness would consume me. And in it all, He brought me to His feet, just to enjoy HIM there. There were no pressures to fill up just so that serving could deplete the storehouse once again.

 

As the year wore on, and it became apparent that the medications were failing to treat this Rheumatoid Disease, and it became apparent that my weaknesses could not be hidden any longer, I heard those questions being asked of me again. HE was asking me,

 

Is it possible to be poured out and yet be more full than before?

Is there a fire that quenches thirsting?

 

Along with the questions, He began to stir a prompting for the word that would become this year’s #Oneword: Compassion. The Scripture accompanying that word was filled with its own set of questions–questions that the Lord had asked Himself:

 

“How can I give you up, Ephraim?
How can I hand you over, Israel?
How can I treat you like Admah?
How can I make you like Zeboyim?
My heart is changed within me;
all my compassion is aroused. Hosea 11:8 NIV

 

At a time in history when God’s own people had turned away from Him, when He had every right to reject and leave them, His compassions were stirred within Him. I turned to the Commentaries on BibleHub’s site for more thoughts on these verses in Hosea. Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary expresses it this way:

 

Man’s compassions are nothing in comparison with the tender mercies of our God, whose thoughts and ways, in receiving returning sinners, are as much above ours as heaven is above the earth.

and further,

Holy trembling at the word of Christ will draw us to him, not drive us from him, the children tremble, and flee to him. And all that come at the gospel call, shall have a place and a name in the gospel church.

 

And just what does that compassion of Christ look like? He was rejected and had every right to leave us to ourselves. Yet He looked on us, and His compassions–those same compassions of His Father–were stirred within Him:

 

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He had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Matthew 9:36 NIV

 

The Oxford Dictionary says the origin of the word compassion is derived from two words: “suffer with.”  And I began to see a connection between those two words, “sufficient” and “compassion.”  Over these last few years, while feeling the depth of my own weaknesses, Jesus has asked me to be willing to join with Him in the fellowship of His suffering. He began to show me the depth of HIS sufficiency for me last year. He began to work in me the longing to “boast in my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ might rest upon me all the stronger.”

 

In the midst of that longing I heard a whisper, “Are you willing to be broken for Me, as I was broken for you?”

 

 

Can I do that? Can I begin walking down this road of compassion, rejoicing from within my own brokenness? Can I say that I want to taste compassion, knowing that it means to suffer alongside?

 

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Mercy River

Oh Lord Jesus,

In my weakness returned

In my weary o’rwhelmed

I hear my heart crying, NO MORE!

Please can’t I stay here, on the shore?

 

Oh Jesus You cried,

In this sorrowful cup rejoined

In this painful drink o’rwhelmed

I heard Your lips crying, Take from Me!

Yet Not Your will, bore Father’s freely.

 

So Come My Lord,

In Your calling returned

In Your way o’rwhelmed

I fall in Your river, MERCY plunging!

In Your arms of Love, Compassion holding.

–bg

 

While I was looking for the answers to those two original questions, He asked me to praise Him with ALL of my inmost being, EVERY cell, even the broken and weak cells.

 

Praise the Lord, my soul;
    all my inmost being, praise his holy name.
Praise the Lord, my soul,
    and forget not all his benefits—
who forgives all your sins
    and heals all your diseases,
who redeems your life from the pit
    and crowns you with love and compassion,  Psalm 103:1-5

 

The journey for me this year involves more questions than answers. But the ONE who asks the questions is forever faithful, and I can trust Him in these places of mystery.

 

Are you also in a place of questions? I would love to have you join with me this year as we journey along a path of looking to Him for the answers that He asks of us.  Within the next few weeks my friend, Anna Smit, and I hope to have our first podcast episode ready for listening. We invite you to come alongside us, taking one more step in this journey to find the “Treasures from the Sands,” that Jesus is guiding us into.

 

Would you pray with me today?

 

Dear Heavenly Father,

Thank You for showering us with compassion. Before we even understood that we needed it, You met us and prepared the way for us to return to You. Forgive us for trying to manage the serving and the giving on our own. Forgive us for looking for relief from the heat of pain in our own ways. We come trembling before You now, and acknowledge that we are too weak to find it in ourselves to say “yes” to join You in Your suffering. Oh but thank You for being the all-sufficient One who would carry us into Your own heart. Thank You that Your compassion covers us, and it is YOURS alone to work that in our lives. We lift up our praises to You now. Our every cell, even the weak and diseased, cries out to worship Your greatness here. There is NO ONE like You, our great Savior.

In the Name of Your Son, Jesus, we pray,

Amen.

 

 

I am linking with:

#LMMLinkup

#Teaandword

#TellHisStory

 

 

33 thoughts on “Compassion

  1. Thanks, Bettie, for the depth of your reflections on your word for this year. I looked up Hosea 11:8 in the https://www.blueletterbible.org/kjv/hos/11/8/s_873008.

    I picked out three words from Strong’s lexicon https://www.blueletterbible.org/kjv/hos/11/8/ss1/s_873008 that give your words even more meaning: give heart kindle (These words are in the KJV version)

    Much love

    Lisa

    Lisa Enqvist http://lisaenqvist.blogspot.fi/For a purpose

    On Mon, Jan 7, 2019 at 8:28 PM BettieGsRAseasons wrote:

    > Bettie G posted: “Is it possible to be poured out and yet be more full > than before? Is there a fire that quenches thirsting? These are questions > that have haunted me. The first one was a longing that rested deep in my > heart throughout so many years of serving. After givi” >

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh Dear Lisa those are such precious thoughts and words! Thank you for sharing your insights from God’s Word and definitions! Truly, He does bring a depth to His Word as we wait upon Him, and I want Him to kindle those fires in my heart, to turn my thoughts to His mercy! Amen, His Word is so true. Much love to you my Dear Friend!

      Like

  2. What a beautiful post. The way you described the marriage between the two words He has given you is a powerful testimony, dear Bettie. Praying now for God to orchestrate whatever details and whatever energy is needed for you and Anna to begin podcasting, at the time He chooses. I look forward to that 🙂 I will be decreasing my activity across the internet the next couple weeks. I speak in Arizona on January 18th and 19th. So please know I will catch up when I return. In His powerful name Jesus I claim His promises are true, Love, Julie

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Julie,
      Thank you so much for your many prayers over these past months. I know that the Lord has blessed me and given me more of His grace through your prayers! He truly does lead us step by step, and weaves His Word together in our hearts. I will pray for you as you prepare for your speaking ministry this month. May He shower you with His thoughts, even as you quiet your heart before Him. I so appreciate your kind thoughts and prayers for Anna and me as we prepare the podcast also. His strength is sufficient for all He asks of us! Blessings and love to you my Dear Friend!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for joining in with your open heart, Lynn! I am so grateful that Jesus invites us to sit with Him, and bring those questions. His ways are so much higher than my own. May He bless you with His mercy tonight Dear Friend.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Melissa for your kind encouragement also. What a merciful Lord we have, who sees so deeply into our hearts. I am so grateful that He joins us together on this path of His! Blessings to you also Dear Friend!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh Bettie, this touched me deeply! Most of our walk with God is spent in growing our faith and trust, as we live into the answers to come. It is a great comfort to be a recipient of God’s compassion, His endless stream of mercy and grace. Although we don’t always understand why things happen as they do (and soon discover we need to make room for holy mystery), it’s a joy to know God loves us just as we are, broken and wounded and weak as that might be.

    I aim to join you for the podcasts, and in the quest for soul rest and peace in the midst of life’s in uncertainties. May we seek to have courageous faith and learn to to be compassionate soul companions for one another. I think you already demonstrate this gifting in beautiful ways. But I look forward to seeing how God draws out more compassion toward yourself as well. Blessings, love and hugs! xoxo 💜

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Joy,
      Thank you for your sweet encouragement, and deep understanding of this road we walk on. I have been so blessed at the words you share that point to God’s mystery and Holy beauty. There is a light that is only seen as all other lights have been dimmed, and I think this pathway through pain has brought such a clear light from God through you. I pray that I would allow Him to shine His light in the midst of my pain too, and to find His compassion so deep for my own soul right there. Mercy runs deep through those dark valleys. May we take joy to let Him draw us deeper in. Blessings, love, and hugs to you my Dear Friend. xoxo

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I never knew the origin of compassion – that is come from two words meaning “suffer with” but it makes sense and I see how it ties in with your word from last year. I love your poem!!! You share from a place of such vulnerability and you don’t shy away from the hard things. You just lean further into God and rest in His presence. I pray you will have some relief from pain very soon. Oh, may we all have the compassion Jesus wants us to have and be willing to follow wherever He leads. Blessings, love and hugs to you, my dear sister! xoxo

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Gayl,
      Thank you for being such an encouragement and help to me, always pointing me back to the comforts of Christ! And yes, may we allow Jesus to open our hearts to more of His compassion, and more understanding from Him when our questions run so deep. Blessings, love, and hugs to you, Dear Sister! xoxo

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Dear Sister! I know you understand those places of leaning so hard on Him! You remain in my prayers also, as you walk forward into God’s plans for your life too. Blessings to you!

      Like

    1. Dear Karen,
      Oh thank you for your sweet words to keep sharing here. Your words are such an encouragement to me, and a blessing from the Lord! May you be blessed by Him also this New Year!

      Like

  5. That’s a beautiful word for the new year, sweet friend! I think the more we go through in this life, the more compassion we have for others. Just like Jesus’ heart goes out to us in our suffering because He suffered so much. I trust you will soon find relief from your awful pain. May God richly bless you in this new year!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Cheryl,
      Yes, He really does cover us with so much compassion in our suffering, doesn’t He? I am so grateful and crying for more of His heart in me. I appreciate your prayers so much! I want to answer your lovely email soon!! May you be blessed this New Year also my Dear Friend!

      Like

  6. Truly God is speaking loudly and challenging you in this season of your life. My first pause while reading your words came with the question: Is it possible to be poured out and yet be more full than before? I think that same question will be important in my own journey this year.

    Then you described your walk through sufficiency last year as God was whispering compassion for this year. The relationship between the two is one that speaks to me too. It reminds me how surrendering is just the beginning and God chose “receive” for me this year to continue what He began last year.

    What a blessing God is in both of our lives. The hard work and the path He takes us on is worth the sacrifice and hardship along the way. Love and hugs to you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Mary,
      Oh, yes, isn’t it amazing and beautiful the way that the Lord merges one year right into the next? Although I might resist that thought, it really is so kind of Him to continue the learning and to then take us deeper. I so appreciated your post on “receive” and how God is opening up the way before you, to see His hand in all of your surrenders. He truly is such a blessing to us! I pray that I will continue to keep my heart open and surrendered also. Blessings, love, and hugs to you!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. The fellowship of His suffering.. I have been learning and dealing with coming to terms with this myself.

    Looking forward to your podcast. Is there a way I can promote you on my blog?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, it is a process to come to that surrender, isn’t it? I am so thankful that He is so tender with us! I will let you know as we have a definite date and platform in place to share the podcast. Thank you Mandy! Blessings and prayers for you, my RA/Fibro Sister in Jesus!

      Like

    1. Oh yes, what a precious Savior we have, who showers us with His compassion. You are right, it is a love so far above what man can offer. He is so good to us. Blessings and hugs to you also, Dear Friend!

      Like

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