Sharing: Let Christ Turn Bitterness Into Compassion

The memes and the quips scrolled by me faster than I could keep up. It seemed that everyone had something to say about self-isolation, quarantine, lock-down and the restrictions that were suddenly, with very little warning, thrust upon us.

And I hit the “like” button more times than I could count … Finally the rest of the world would understand what many of us had been feeling for years. … Finally the rest of the world would feel the isolation that many of us in the never-never land of chronic illness had already been coping with … or not.

I hoped that the rest of the world would soon learn compassion. I hoped that the rest of the church would see that all of the new online benefits could remain in place for those of us who have been in lock-down for more days than we would care to count.

But while I was wish-fully hoping, I felt a nudging in my heart being stirred.

I recognized the nudging. It was the kind that would lead to conviction, and I wasn’t sure if I was ready for it.

Couldn’t I just stay in this place of “I told you so,” a little longer? My finger pointing was rapidly losing its appeal, as I felt the compassion of Jesus flooding over me.

For you see, it was the Easter Season, Lent had been upon us for many weeks, and we were all focused on the suffering of what our Lord had carried for our sake, before the pandemic shifted our gaze to what WE were suffering.

And if you are anything like me, MY suffering soon ramps up into a place of bitterness that can run with the best of the world’s angry chatters. . . .

Give us our rights!

Give us back our positions!

Give us back our lives!

And the Spirit is weeping over our hearts, as we are weeping over our rights.

The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are Godโ€™s children. Now if we are children, then we are heirsโ€”heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory. I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.

Romans 8:16-18

He came to bring us back to the heart of our Father, to see ourselves as His children. We have inherited ETERNAL LIFE with Him, and we are grudging our shortages and the restrictions placed upon us.

We have forgotten the privilege of suffering that has come along with the joy of sharing in His glory. He has called us to join with Him, to bear the sufferings of this age, so that we could more fully know the glory of son-ship.

And my heart was broken.

He has already poured His compassion upon me in this place where I have felt isolated. He has already given me glimpses and moments and hours of intimate fellowship with Him as I was pulled back from the rush of mainstream busy.

Shouldn’t the memes and the graphics that I long for carry a different tune?

I remembered His invitation to me, early in my journey of slow:

“Come with ME. I am not ashamed by your weakness. Your weakness is what draws me to you. I am already inside, the Kingdom of God is within you, and I am not offended by your pain.”

And I knew where the conviction would fall in my heart. He had given me HIS comfort, so that I could return that same comfort to those who were joining this rank of isolation. For however long it might last, however temporary this fellowship of suffering might endure, while we are on this path, I have been given a gift to share.

Comfort, comfort my people,

    says your God.

Isaiah 40:1

~~~~~~~

Would you join me once again, over at the Chronic Joy Website? The conviction that the Lord poured over me was such a sweet gift for those of us in the Chronic Illness Community. And yet, we all are being affected as this wave of Covid-19 Illness is sweeping the world. Click here to read the remainder of the thoughts and prayer that the Lord poured over me, as I surrendered my own ways to His ways.

I am linking with #TellHisStory #Graceandtruth

36 thoughts on “Sharing: Let Christ Turn Bitterness Into Compassion

  1. Good morning my sweet and honest sister. Your words about us forgetting the privilege of suffering hit home dear Bettie. This what about Me society catches us when we are weak โ€ฆ the devil knows we were born selfish. I struggled yesterday to participate in our online Sunday school .., background noise, the lesson was choppy. But its not about me. Oh Bettie, thank you for your prayer. Thank you for being a safe person that I can pray with and for. Thank you for loving me in Him. Love, Julie

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    1. Dear Julie,
      Oh, I sure understand what you mean about this “what about me” society. Truly it is our flesh that so easily reverts to that way of thinking. I am so grateful that His convictions call us back to HIS heart, so much higher than our own. And I am so glad that we can pray for each other on this journey, dear sister. What an honor He has given us here. Love and hugs across the miles!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Bettie, your words really spoke to me this morning. There are moments I want to scream out……see, see what it is like to live this way, stop complaining, your life will return to normal!!!! But, I also pray, hold back, ask God for guidance and love and peace………Thank you for your words. God bless you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Wendi,
      OH, I am so thankful that you understand all of these feelings. Although I am sorry that you have to go through these painful days too. He has surely blessed us to “hold back, ask God for guidance and love and peace.” May we listen to His voice even in this season too. God bless you dear friend too.

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      1. ๐Ÿ™‚ Thank you for understanding……….there are times I do want to scream but I do my best to get it together and go to God first. Thank you for always being so helpful in my walk with God. ๐Ÿ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

        1. And thank you for all of your kind help too, sweet friend. What a gift to be able to share prayers and encouragement from Him. I am praying for you and your family tonight to be so held by the Lord.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Bettie……..I could tell someone was praying for me tonight and now I know who it was. Thank you SO very much!!! and my girls thank you too. I felt well enough to take them out for an hour drive around our town so they could get out tof the house and then we took our dog for a little walk at midnight……this is NOT something I can usually do at that time of day so THANK you from the bottom of my heart.

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            1. Oh Dear Wendi, Praise God for His precious help for you and your daughters! Our Lord is so faithful to meet us just when we need Him the most. I am so grateful that He allows us to share in His miracles together. Thank you for sharing with me, your words have brought tears to my eyes this morning. Love you dear friend!

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              1. ๐Ÿ™‚ I hope they were happy tears Bettie. I just had some physical burdens lifted last evening and I just knew someone was praying………again, I cannot thank you enough for this…..my teen girls have been so good through all of this and had been in the house over 30 days……….your prayers were a gift to all of us……..Praise God!

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  3. Dear Bettie, you have expressed what many of us are thinking and feeling right now. I appreciate your candour and the way you gently point us to the solution for such self-oriented thoughts. This is definitely a time when peopleโ€™s natural rights are being lost for the greater good and anger and confusion are taking over. Some react to this scenario with a callous disregard for others, whilst others are seeking to do their level best to be neighbourly and merciful, show love and act with compassion. These are timely thoughts that help shake us out of a selfish or self-pitying mindset and help catapult us into a more generous way of responding to the coronavirus crisis. Thank you for listening closely to the Lord and encouraging us to do the same. Love and hugs PS: Iโ€™ve also responded on the Chronic Joy Ministries site. xoxo ๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ’œ

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Joy,
      I so appreciate all of your understanding and support on this journey. These are surely days that we did not expect to see! But I am also grateful to see those ones who are “seeking to do their level best to be neighbourly and merciful, show love and act with compassion.” Oh may I, along with you, keep asking the Lord to lift my mindset, and to respond with His own generosity. Thank you for following along over to the Chronic Joy Website also. You are such a blessing! Hugs and love across the sea to you today!

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  4. Bettie…I always likes to read your writings..On this period the whole world is suffering in one way or another.But I hopes for the best Bettie..If He gives a pain to us, He knew how to comfort us.He will resolve everything at right, we can’t even imagine His amazing deeds…Only thing we need to do is trust Him, Have complete trust upon Him, He will definitely find a way for each and everything

    Stay Blessed Bettie!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Athira,
      Thank you so much for always giving such sweet comments! And you are so right: even in this time of suffering the only thing “we need to do is trust Him, have complete trust upon Him.” Amen! He does make a way when we cannot see the way ahead. I pray that you are safe and well too, dear friend. Blessings to you!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. God, in His love, always is working on drawing us closer to His ways of letting go to receive what He knows is best for us and brings freedoms, not chains. To be free even when withdrawn from our social comforts (or are they idols) is true freedom indeed! I’m definitely not there yet, but like Paul, continually press on to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward (Philippians 3:14). Yes, you are giving God’s gift within you of comfort to others Bettie. Thank you for being His faithful servant.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Lynn,
      I love the way you express that He is “always is working on drawing us closer to His ways of letting go to receive what He knows is best for us.” Oh, how easily those social comforts have become idols that get in the way between us and our Lord. He knows the blessing that is waiting for us when we can lay those things down to receive more of Him. I am so grateful for your insightful comments dear friend. Thank you for the comfort and encouragement that you have shared with me. Blessings to you.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Bettie, I replied at Chronic Joy already, but as I was reflecting on this some more, I wanted to say that I am sorry that the years I was able to attend a church that I didn’t ever stop to consider those who couldn’t, that I didn’t stop to consider those who like you cannot physically manage or others who like myself now cannot because of spiritual abuse. I am sorry that I took it for granted and never realized just how many members of the Body of Christ cannot attend a physical church. I was thinking about how I was so angry and bitter myself reading of people’s grief at not being able to attend now but then realized that would have been me three years ago. That I never would have stopped to consider that this loss is something some have known for years and years and that I would have judged those who couldn’t attend (not stopping to hear their stories). May God forgive me for my blindness then and keep opening my eyes to show me how I can shower His Body in compassion both now and long after this is all over also with the compassion He has shown me – especially through you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Anna,
      Oh, I understand so well what you are saying. I have had to ask the Lord for forgiveness also, over these years, for the things that I took for granted and did not consider also. For so many years, I thought I was being understanding toward those who were shut-in, but I have come to see that I understood so little of what they were actually feeling. I think that sometimes He allows us to face these situations so that we can have a “perspective shift” and see more like He does. I know I sure have needed it, and still do, on so many levels. Thank you so much for all of the compassion that you do show to me. I feel so much love and caring from you. I join you in coming before Him to ask for forgiveness and to ask for fresh outpourings of His own compassion. What a gift He has given to us to be able to share His love together.

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      1. A “perspective shift”. Of all the words for you to choose today, Bettie. God is surely bringing that to me so much lately through His Word as I have emptied out all I have been feeling through this time. He is so faithful to keep taking us deeper. I was thanking Him so much for you today: for your deep humility and how He has humbled me so much through it. Love you and so thankful for you xxx

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Dear Anna,
          I am so thankful that He is so faithful to keep taking us deeper. I am so glad that we can share and pray together and for each other. Your friendship is such a gift. And your love for Jesus is such a beautiful bessing to me. I am so thankful for you too! xoxo

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  7. Thank you for being so honest, Bettie. That bitterness over not having freedoms others have can creep in so easily. I sometimes still fall into the comparison trap. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ God is so patient with us, isn’t He? I’m so grateful that He never leaves us alone and His compassionate understanding is so boundless. “The Spirit is weeping over our hearts, as we are weeping over our rights.” Thank you for this encouraging reminder! And the song is so comforting, too. May we lay our burdens down at Jesus’ feet! Love and blessings to you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Trudy,
      Oh, how grateful I am for God’s boundless patience with me! His sweet compassion for us is such a gift that I don’t ever want to take for granted again. But I know I have so much more to keep learning from Him. Thank you for coming alongside on this journey, dear friend. You have been such a blessing to me, pointing to His hope so often! And, I am so glad that you like that song. It came out of the Jesus Movement of the 70s, and has stayed in my mind through all those years. Yes, may we continue to place our burdens right there, at the feet of Jesus. Love and Blessings to you too!

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  8. So many lessons that I am learning through this challenging and unique time. My eyes continue to be opened and my heart challenged. I pray that my own compassion will expand. I pray for those who are regularly isolated (through illness, age or circumstance) will be noticed and understood more – long after the quarantine is lifted. Praying for you, my friend. Thanks for sharing your heart.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Jennifer,
      Oh, yes, I agree that He is bringing us so much learning from Him through this time. I am so grateful for your understanding and for your response to Him. May we all lift our hearts to be transformed and opened up more to Him. I appreciate your prayers so much. Blessings and prayers for you too.

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  9. Oh, friend! I will never completely understand what isolation feels like for you on a daily basis. This taste I am experiencing sure has made me uncomfortable. I pray I become more compassionate for those who live this every day. I am joining you in thanking Jesus for HIs compassionate sacrifice and deep love for all of us.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Mary,
      Thank you for the compassion you show towards me here, every week. I appreciate your encouragement so much. This season is surely hard on all of us, isn’t it? I am so grateful that our Lord still has the final authority over this world and all that happens to us! He is so merciful to us. May you feel His great blessings over you this week, dear friend.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Lisa, Oh, I am just a listener of Him filled with His convictions these days! I so appreciate all of your encouragement as we seek to follow Him through this different season. May we all question the perspectives He asks us to look at! Blessings and love to you this week, dear friend.

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