Daily Devotional: Learning to Care For Others the Way Jesus Does
A prayer for today…
Father God, please open my heart to letting your love, your patience, and your forgiveness shine through. Please help me to be a blessing to those in need, and to find empathy, no matter how big or small their hardship may seem. Help me to find the words that show I care, and only give advice that stems from you. In your name, amen.
Not everyone’s problems will meet your personal criteria of “bad enough” compared to what you may have stumbled through in the past, or are currently navigating in your own life.
However, we are all on a unique journey and just because what someone else may be currently dealing with doesn’t seem to match up to your own pain, does not mean they are not suffering just as much; their hearts longing to be held and healed, every bit as much as ours.
My sweet son, my baby, has been on winter break for what feels like years now.
Today is the day they finally go back to school. I know he is beyond ready. He is a social creature, this one. But he is also nervous. He has voiced to me several times that it has been so long, he feels unsettled about going back.
I try to assure him that all will be well. But am I really just patronizing the poor child because I don’t really understand the impact of nerves at that stage of life? Have I unwittingly grown past my empathy for my own child?
No. I have not.
Yet, I think we all stand to fall into the category of not truly paying attention to the struggles our nearest and dearest are facing.
We just humanely put each life struggle into a convenient bucket of “minor hurt – will be fine,” “major issue – requires a lot of prayer,” or “not intense – check in on them, when have time.”
If others’ struggles do not metaphorically add up to our own on the self-appointed pain management scale, we tend to relegate them to the bottom of the backpack, only pulling them out to offer care and encouragement when it feels most convenient, in comparison to our own personal baggage claim of “hurts and stuff.”
“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?”Matthew 6:25-27 niv
Isn’t it comforting to know that no matter how big or small our worries seem, there is a Savior that cares for them all?
From the most minuscule of molehills to the greatest pinnacle of mountains, Jesus cares and will attend to each and every prayer from His devoted children.
I do my best at showing empathy and kindness toward those struggling with life’s difficulties.
I often come up short, not knowing what to say, how to react, what services to offer, to voice my opinion or simply listen.
Yet, one thing we can do for each and every person in our sphere of life is to PRAY.
We are all on God’s radar as He cares for us and knows the struggles we individually face.
By lifting our loved ones up to Him, it infuses a certain amount of empathy in our own hearts, which I believe allows us to better handle those tender hurts others feel that we may not fully understand.
God wants nothing more than for us to love others with His heart.
The only way to truly do that is to know His heart.
A choice we make every single day, in our dedication to spend time with The Great Physician, the carer of every hurt and heartbreak, the healer of sufferings, from the biggest ache to the tiniest tender complaint.
They all matter to Him. And as such, they should matter to us as well.
“Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.”1 peter 5:7 niv
When we “cast it all” upon the Lord of healing, hope, forgiveness, help, and deliverance, we not only feel the weight of life’s pain released in our own hearts, but we are better able to help others we may or may not have come into contact within this life.
Perspective may temporarily make us immune to the pain others currently feel, but a close relationship with the Lord will no doubt soften our hearts toward others’ hurts, and allow us to react with the kindest of intentions and purest of hearts, sharing Jesus’ healing hands with each person we encounter on the long and winding road of life.