When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them because they were confused and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. -Matthew 9:36, NLT
This reality of Jesus looking upon the people with compassion even though he may have never tasted feelings of confusion and being helpless is a powerful truth that I have been learning repeatedly over the past few months. Jesus had a holy compassion that we may or may not fully appreciate in our human condition.
While there are many other more profound examples, I will keep this edition a little more user friendly. I had my first tooth extraction recently after many attempts to rescue it through the years. That tooth saw many obstacles such as a filling, a root canal, a crown, a replacement crown, and many other times that it was poked and prodded. I never dreamed that one day the dentist would look at me and say “it’s time to relieve your tooth of duty.” Now I had watched many extractions and even had people offer to teach me on the missions field how to do it myself! I was never that brave, but I thought surely it wouldn’t be that bad…wrong! Despite the local anesthetic, it was still incredibly uncomfortable. Lesson learned: never have that kind of work done and expect to work for the duration of the day again! I managed to engage in meetings and the work of the day, but it was a pretty miserable experience. Aside from the common sense lesson learned, it also reminded me that there are experiences in life that are so deeply painful that we may not fully sympathize with until we have walked that path ourselves.
Do we surrender when we see those around us facing some of the most challenging experiences of life? Never! Rather we must allow God’s supernatural compassion to fill us in such a way that we don’t always have to fix what is hurting, but we walk with those who are hurting. Lysa TerKeurst recently observed that “God is good at being God.” Walking by faith means that there are many things in life that we must resolve repeatedly to place in God’s hands knowing that He is able when we are simply not.
Marching forward this February we continue to see God moving in so many ways! Our Hunger Initiatives group has expanded to begin providing limited food delivery and we have another event that is currently being planned for the week before Easter. We also have some great partnerships who are actively engaging the community through multi-housing, mercy, employment, rural, unreached people groups, and other ministries! Not to mention the progress that continues to be made by our church planting efforts as three planters have entered the new process with TCMI/PMBA/BSCNC. Pray for our churches also who have engaged in our Impact groups for pastors as they will be collaborating on missions efforts in the days ahead as well.
We remain engaged and available to collaborate with our churches toward greater missional mobilization as God is leading them and according to the needs in their surrounding region. If we can be of service to you or your church contact us today for more information. With God-sized compassion for a hurting world,
Community Missions Catalyst