I recently heard a radio announcer define compassion as feeling sorry for another. She
went on to explain when you dig deeper, to the root of the word, compassion means to suffer
When my daughter became very ill very fast I asked several of my good friends to pray
for her. One friend texted me to get the details, then responded, “We will pray you through this.”
Compassion is to be in the struggle together; to take on another’s burdens.
Jesus embodied compassion. He chose to leave heaven to suffer. The writer of Hebrews
put it this way:
No matter what our struggle, he’s been there.
He’s been misunderstood.
He’s been rejected and despised.
His family didn’t understand his mission.
His close friend tried to talk him out of what Jesus knew was God’s will.
He experienced hunger, thirst, exhaustion, loneliness, sadness and being overwhelmed.
On the cross he felt the pain of the sins of all people of all time.
And he overcame it all.
We can pray for strength when physically weak.
We can pray for peace when our last nerve is about to break.
We can pray for intervention when concerned about choices (ours or someone else’s).
We can take everything that weighs us down physically, emotionally, and
mentally and give it to Jesus to carry, because he has proven he can handle it.
No matter what you’re going through, Jesus has and will continue to be in the struggle
And we can suffer with others, too, as we pray with and for them, encourage, support
and offer what is needed.
In Colossians 3, we’re told to clothe ourselves with compassion. When you see someone
struggling, jump into their struggle. Suffer with them.
You cannot take the plate of suffering away, but you can help them carry it for a while.