Note to reader: The following is the result of further study, research and reflection after reading a portion of The Resolution for Women by Priscilla Shirer, a book written upon the influence of the movie Courageous, which hit theaters nation-wide in September/October of 2011.
Look…! Observe! Be astonished! Wonder! Because I am doing something in your days – you would not believe if you were told. Habakkuk 1:5 NASB
Have you ever wanted to turn away from a story pictured on the news? Or an episode of 48 hours? Or leave a classroom because the topic of the class did not jive with you? Made you uncomfortable? Or even turn off your Wednesday night run of Criminal Minds because of the horror displayed?
I have. Many times.
Let me ask you this: are you concerned with the hearts of those dear to you? How about the girl in the cubicle next to yours? Or the man who just lost his home to a fire? Or even a family member; a father; a mother? A sibling?
We live in a fallen world. We need to see pain to know that it’s real and to believe that God can do anything with a single touch or even you.
Shirer states that if God didn’t show us, our hearts would not be moved. If He simply told you what His plans were or how He was going to use you to solve them, you wouldn’t be able to grasp the full depth and height of the problem or what the touch of His supernatural care, kindness, and wisdom could accomplish through you. If He allowed you to turn your face away and remain unaware of the situation, you’d never know the outworking of compassion the Spirit of God is inviting and empowering you to experience.
God has decided to show us instead. He is preparing us to envision how stunning His work can be, even through ordinary people like you and me.
If we were truly concerned with helping others get to heaven, we’d better be equally concerned about the quality of their existence in the here and now.
I love the bridge to Hosanna by Hillsong; the part that goes like this: Break my heart for what breaks Yours :: Everything I am for Your Kingdom’s cause :: As I walk from earth into eternity.
The first time I heard those words, my heart fell to its knees. What kind of supernatural power are we choosing to avoid experiencing by not having a heart broken for the plights of those around us?
I needed to have a heart that was broken. We all do. We need to not only allow it to break, but ask God to break it. We need to be offended and heartsick over the same things that shatter His heart. We need to pray that He’ll break our hearts.
What example do we have? Jesus.
Scripture is full of the portrait of the Man who didn’t walk blindly down the dusty, ancient roads of His day, bypassing human devastation and need without a second glance. He paid close attention. He was moved with compassion. He stopped to care for those who were disenfranchised and distressed.
His heart was broken when He saw the hungry (Matthew 15:32).
…when He saw the sick (Matthew 14:14).
…when He saw the emotionally devastated (Luke 7:13, John 6:35).
…when He saw the lonely and spiritually lost (Matthew 9:36).
When He wasn’t extending compassion, He was talking about it. Showing mercy toward others was an important part of the gospel He came to offer. He didn’t turn a blind eye to people’s physical needs in order to get to the more important spiritual one.
He took His broken heart as a sign to do something; to act in accordance with the Father’s will.
Jesus didn’t just preach a gospel; He lived one.
He saved you for many reasons, but one of them is so that others can sense His compassion manifested toward them through you. Not just in words, but in action. You are His hands and feet – hands that are for more than writing personal checks, feet that are for more than walking to church aor to the mailbox so that someone else can be resourced to go.
Light is brightest against the backdrop of darkness. Be the light.
Diamonds are most brilliant against a backcloth of black velvet. Be the diamond.
Look. Again. Allow yourself to feel. Allow your heart to be broken.
Until what takes your breath away or breaks your heart is not the gravity of the problem but the power of God to heal it – one touch, one person at a time.