Empathetic Savior

OIP-8

Turn to me and have mercy,

    for I am alone and in deep distress.

My problems go from bad to worse.

    Oh, save me from them all!

Feel my pain and see my trouble.  Psalm 25:16-18 (NLT)

Does this not describe most of us right now?

We are indeed alone, isolated in our homes and care centers. This isolation is affecting us all often in ways we don’t realize. It’s subtle, but it’s real. We keep our distance, like theres a six-foot invisible shield around everyone. Try to get closer and you bump into it.

Every day brings more deaths, to where we have become calloused to the numbers. 200,000 deaths … 500,000 deaths … millions of cases … what does it mean? I can’t wrap my head around any of it. Especially when I can’t put a name to anyone I know very well to any of those numbers. It’s all way too abstract.

And then there’s the distress. There’s the economic challenge of so many out of work. And we all are so inter-connected that you can’t unravel a thread without destroying the whole social/economic tapestry. Schools, restaurants, shopping malls, churches, entertainment centers, sports — everything’s affected. Super Bowl? What Super Bowl? It will be a game, but I’m not sure how super. Can’t even attend a Super Bowl party. Or if you do, you run a big risk. Look how cases spiked after all the holiday parties.

Then you’ve got people out of work. Some losing jobs permanently. And domestic problems are increasing because we’re all on top of each other. And then add to all of this the crazy political unrest we are going through as a nation. The foundations of our country are crumbling. It’s enough distress anyone.

And to this all, the psalmist cries out, “Feel my pain!” He’s pleading for empathy. Someone please understand what I’m going through. He’s crying out to God, and here is the important point: God hears him. “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin” (Hebrews 4:15).

Jesus gets it. He’s been in this skin. He knows firsthand our weaknesses. He’s felt our fears. He is an empathetic savior. He doesn’t stand over you in His perfection and say, “Come on, stupid. Pull yourself together.” No, He comes alongside and lifts us up.

“Feel my pain,” you cry, and you know what? He does.

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3 Responses to Empathetic Savior

  1. Mark D Seguin says:

    Loved parts of Today’s Catch… Just wish Pastor John you could consider reading a good positive thinking book.

    B/C you may learn, you get what say… and consider STOP reading the Newspaper just 4 one or 2 day and watching the News surely doesn’t help…

    May I please suggest to consider reading:
    “What to Say When You Talk to Yourself 365 Days of Positive Self Talk” by Shad Helmsetter, Ph.D and I can absolutely grantee within Days after reading it, your Catches will be noticeable different – b/c you thinking will be different…

    And it may help awaking within you what the Bible I believe in James the power of life & death lies in the tongue. Also, I think it’s in Hebrews were it says to think & meditate on about what is good and virtue, which surely doesn’t support reading the & watching the News..

    B/C this is NOT true: “The foundations of our country are crumbling.” Man you lived through 1960’s when all hell was breaking lose in our country..

    • jwfisch says:

      As always, Mark, thank you for your comments. I was purposely negative yesterday in seeking to identify with the psalmist in his distress. And to note that Jesus doesn’t just swoop in and fix everything; He actually empathizes with us in our weakness — our helplessness in the face of these events. He gets it. He’s also going to get us through it. But our security is not tied to how America is doing. We are securely in God’s hands and in the kingdom of God regardless of what happens in this country.

      • Mark D Seguin says:

        Amen, completely agree w/ as you wrote: “We are securely in God’s hands and in the kingdom of God regardless of what happens in this country.” And b/c of that I also believe the foundations of our country are crumbling is NOT a true statement! and I agree to disagree with it!!!

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