(Excerpt from Don’t Miss the Moment by Pastor Sheryl Brady, The Potter’s House of North Dallas)
Anyone who really knows me knows I am a stabilizer. Whenever I see someone in a crisis, something rises up within me, and I want to do everything in my power to bring balance to the moment and, hopefully, usher in a sense of peace to the situation. Whether through word or deed, I’m in it with you. I do it because I remember what it’s like to be in a crisis and in dire need of assurance that everything will turn out okay. And when God brings you through moments such as what we just went through in 2020, it unlocks a measure of compassion in you that will most likely be with you for the rest of your life.
In some ways, all of us have something in us that triggers our compassion. It kicks in and we find ourselves donating to a complete stranger’s GoFundMe page or babysitting for a single mother who just needs time to run some long-overdue errands. Maybe it’s picking up groceries for an elderly neighbor, volunteering at a food bank, or simply offering emotional support to a friend who has lost a family member to COVID-19. Compassion is the very best part of us; however, the key to unlocking that compassion is often found by surviving our own rocky moments.
Have you ever noticed just how many miracles came on the heels of Jesus being “moved with compassion?” He forgave sin and iniquity because of his compassion. He fed the hungry, encouraged those who were sad, comforted the comfortless, and gave hope to the hopeless, all because of compassion. It was his compassion that made him gracious, long-suffering, plenteous in mercy and truth. He healed the sick, cleansed the leper, opened the eyes of the blind, and brought back to life those who were dead! And his compassion was the key to it all.
Whatever you do, whatever you face, whatever life may take you through, never allow it to bankrupt you of your compassion. Never allow it to make you cold and calloused to the point where you lose your ability to feel. Being able to survive the relentless storms in your own life and still be moved with compassion for others is one of the key qualities in a life well lived.
Jesus came to earth to live among mankind for thirty-three years so he could be “touched with the feeling of our infirmities” (Heb. 4:15 KJV). He was intentional about it. He went through abandonment, betrayal, mockery, rejection, lies, loss, poverty, pain, and everything else that you and I would ever experience so that, when we came to him for help, he would know what it feels like to be us! And because he knows, he is moved with compassion.
When that type of compassion kicks in, it can make all the difference between a person winning or losing. All the difference between crashing underneath the weight of hardship or carrying it like a champion. And the great thing is, the cycle continues. Just as Jesus’ compassion changed everything for us, when we release true compassion to others, it can do for them what an anchor does for a ship: rock them steady in unsteady waters.
Pastor Sheryl Brady is the lead pastor of The Potter’s House of North Dallas, located off Main Street in Frisco.