Day 4 – Great Compassion
Read Verse 1(b),
According to the greatness of Your compassion blot out my transgressions.
God’s compassion is great enough for me, even when I feel totally unworthy. I am unworthy, but that is exactly the point—God’s love and compassion are great enough, even for me, even in my unworthiness.
The story found in Nehemiah chapter nine is particularly stunning regarding this point. I encourage you to read the entire chapter. Count the number of times you read the word “compassion” in this chapter. Over and over again, the people had been so disobedient and rebellious that God decides to hand them over to their enemies. And yet, over and over again he is moved “in his great compassion” to rescue his people from their enemies.
Each time, the people go immediately back to the ways of sin—verse twenty-eight “But as soon as they had rest, they did evil again before You;”
Like children! Any parent, teacher, auntie or coach knows the frustration of spending time teaching, reprimanding and lovingly disciplining a child only to see her return to the same behaviors moments later.
As a mom, these are the moments that make me pull my hair out. “How many times have I told you …” is a tired, trite but very real phrase on the lips of any adult who provides care and guidance for children.
As a foster and adoptive parent, I know that children will do more of this testing when they are uncertain if they can trust you. Again and again they will engage in actions and behaviors that they know are against your family rules and values. And again and again, out of love and compassion, you will discipline, teach and then wrap up the interaction by saying, “I still love you, I will always love you.”
As the child becomes more secure in the relationship, the frequency of the testing diminishes. The child begins to trust that nothing they can do is going to push you over the edge and cause you to “send them back.” They can rest in the assurance of your love and that is when their healing begins and hope blossoms.
How often am I like that insecure foster child? Testing, testing, testing God. Daring Him to turn away and “send me back” into the dark abyss. Yet, in God’s great compassion He forgives me, rescues me, and preserves my life.
Will you pray with me? “Lord help me today and always to remember that I can trust you and rest in the assurance of your great compassion for me. Help me to test you less and trust you more. Help me also to have and to show this great compassion towards each precious child you place in my life. ‘Remember not the sins of my youth, and my rebellious ways; according to your love, remember me, for you are good, O Lord.’ (Psalm 25:7) Amen.”
Take a few moments to reflect upon God’s great compassion and make some notes in your journal.
As you reflect, listen to this rendition of “God of Mercy and Compassion” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OQV60w3DX00