James 1:4 NLT
“So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.”
It is often in adversity that heroic actions break forth. Whether the 7/7 bombings in London, or the Boxing Day tsunami which caused havoc in Indonesia and beyond, over time a narrative of great human acts of bravery and compassion emerge. Taking nothing away from the tragic events themselves, these stories remind us all of the compassionate impulse that lies at the core of who we are as people. It’s a core we choose to respond to or to suppress.
Yet, every choice to invest in a deed for the well-being of another is itself a contribution to the well-being of humanity, and a celebration of the sacrificial love of Christ. Jesus lived upon the earth to restore relationship between God and humanity in the face of the tsunami of sin that swept over us. Such waywardness perverts all that seeks the good for neighbour and replaces it with pursuit for self-realisation alone. In extreme cases, this is to the detriment, even destruction, of people who share a common humanity with their destroyers.
It is only as we deepen our roots in trusting God that we build a steadfastness that enables us to express our love of others through the vehicle of our own pain. I’ve discovered the depth of pain in others simply because they have observed my choices and behaviours through a turbulent period of my life and decided they might risk trusting me with their own darker natures. It is an immense trust which I approach knowing that I simply have nothing of myself to offer, yet through God’s dealing with me in an extended bleak space, I have something of a deposit of God to contribute.
It is only those deeds that reveal the loving heartbeat of God for all humanity, no matter circumstance, ability, ethnicity or gender, that can reveal the perfection of Christ, contained so eloquently within our own fractured self.
Lord Jesus, while I was still a sinner you died for me. Help me to love as you have loved me.
Published with kind permission of Premier Be still and know, written by Dr Micha Jazz.