This is where I got the name for my Blogspot!
As Christians, we are all called to minister compassion, reconcilliation, and restoration. That's the point of the entire gospel! Don't let us forget that as we are off doing good.
I think that when you have had your fill of trials, that you are better equiped to minister out of love. Pretty much becuase you've, been there-done that. I have had a life filled with trials...a quick glance back through my life, and you would see
....rejection but then adoption....teen pregnancy and then life...abuse but then forgiveness...alcoholism and then victory....a church that disowned me and then foot washing...a son who went to jail and then answered prayers...infidelity and then healing. Did these things break me? Nope, but I was bent to my knees on more than one occasion. All of these trials have made me exactly what God needs me to be. AM I a victim? No way, I am molded by loving Hands.
Isaiah 42:1-3 "Behold! My servant whom I uphold. My Elect One in whom My soul delights! I have My Spirit upon Him...a bruised reed He will not break, and smoking flax(a wick) He will not quench.
These verses give us a picture from Isaiah of the "bruised reed and dimly lit wick"..expressions of how fragile and weak we all are. It symbolizes all the people who have been broken...people bruised and abused by life...people without strength to bear all that life is throwing at them. They are left battered. If you all admit it, we have all felt like that more than once. Depending on the size of the trials, we experience defeat, depression, oppression. THE GOOD NEWS: Jesus always ministered to the hurt and hurting with agape love and compassion. He never falls on anyone like a ton of bricks to break you, unless you are the self-righteous pharisees.
I am excited...because I have been bent, broken, bruised, abused, weak, depressed.....oh yeah, you read the last few paragraphs. BUT Jesus has prepared me for my ministry. These are not hinderences, they are experiences and stepping stones to where God has called me. Only the pharisees would look at these things as hurdles or failures. Jesus looks at our lives, and says "oh yeah, I can use that". God is time and time again, using the useless, raising the downtrodden, and giving the least likely a platform to help others.
We gain God's insight and wisdom when we go through trials. Which is why a bruised reed can never really be broken. The wick that God lights, will not be extinguished. I am reminded that it is easy to discredit someone because they are broke, and say "that can' be fixed" or "it's too broken to ever work properly again". But GOD! God doesn't say the wick will be quenched...or the reed is going to break...even though the reed might come close, it won't break. He won't allow it! It reminds me of the children's song 'This little light of mine". All of hell can come and try to swamp us...and God might allow a little bit in order to build our chrachter...but He promises that we will make it.
Here is the awesome part! We all have the opportunity to be Jesus to other people, using those trials as wisdom. As with any work of God's in our lives, we almost always play a part in the process. Each bruised person is likely to receive sympathy and that is very appealing. It is also appealing for them to want to stay there. SURELY, there is a time and place to be consoled. But the love of God, can help people face areas that they feel victim too. God also wants to use all of us! This is where we get to put on Christ, and be ambassadors of reconcilliation. One of the biggest ways that God brings about justice for the hurt, is by healing them. We all have a part in that! The hurt are everywhere, and we all cross their paths and are hopefully entending hope, love, and reconcilliation.
How do we help them? Everything we do as Christians has to reflect Jesus. Jesus was here not to be served, but to serve. He was the perfect reflection of a compassionate love for humanity, sympathy toward the under dogs and sinners, and empathy because He had experienced everything imaginable. We are warned in Corinthians not to forget these things as we evangelize, pastor, prophesy, teach..or anything for that matter. We are His representative on earth now! We get to do it his way! We can't be like Frank Sinatra and sing "I did it my way". It is when we forget these things and try to do it our way, that we have a problem.
When we come alongside someone to minister compassion, restoration, and reconcilliation...it is always good to get on thier level. As the empathy of Jesus floods your heart...you will no longer see their sin, weakness or faults. Instead you see their humanity alongside your own humanity, the same humanity Jesus experienced. We let agape love flood every fiber of our being..and then we let them see how God sees them. We have to be careful not to let our Adam nature enter into the mix of things...lest we become like the pharisees. Pharisees always seemed to see the worst in people, they tended to "go off" about things God never had a problem with.
With God and our help we will begin to see the broken made strong, mature, and whole. That is why I am here on this earth, why I was born by a scared women who was raped...who then put me up for adoption. He knew the plans that He had for me, plans to prosper me. I wouldn't give up one of those trials, bruises, or near breaks....they stunk. But give me the broken, hurting and brusied...and I will show them Jesus.
It is easy to think we are too broken for God to use, or for us to think that someone is too broken for God to use......but we all need to know that God is not done with us yet!