Our Compassionate God

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God’s compassion toward us doesn’t always feel that compassionate.

Genesis 19 is a hard chapter for me to read. It is full of so much darkness. It showcases the far-reaching effects of pure selfishness and evil. I don’t enjoy it at all. But in the middle of the chapter I was struck with a verse—and in particular, a phrase: “When Lot hesitated, the men grabbed his hand and the hands of his wife and two daughters because the LORD had compassion on them. They led them away and placed them outside the city” (Gen. 19:16).

The angels forcibly grabbed Lot and his family and propelled them outside Sodom. Why? Here is the phrase that caught my attention: “because the LORD had compassion on them.”

My guess is that in the moment that didn’t feel very nice. Lot and his family were being forced to leave the life they knew, the one in which they had become comfortable, the friends they loved, all the possessions that were meaningful to them – and all this on the word of a couple of strangers who had showed up in the town the night before.

It’s no wonder to me that Lot hesitated. That was the most natural reaction in the world. But then the men got serious, and they took hold of Lot and his family and marched them away from all of it. Why? Because horrible destruction was coming, so much worse than Lot could ever imagine.

Some of God’s greatest kindnesses in my life haven’t always felt kind. In the moment they felt harsh. They may have been grave disappointments or reverses or news that rocked my world. Sometimes they were circumstances that forced me in a different direction. And at times they caused me to question God’s goodness.

But the longer I walk with the Lord, the more clearly I see how often God saves me from myself. I am trusting myself less…and Him infinitely more.

No, I do not believe that God “causes” all of the difficulty that comes into our lives. We live in a broken world, and there are many causes for suffering.

But sometimes our faithful God chooses to use those very hard things to actually showcase His mercy and love. Sometimes grace comes wrapped in hardship.

I am praying today that I will trust Him more and that I will never forget, no matter the circumstances in which I find myself, that I am in good, good hands.

 


Originally published in God’s Revivalist. Used by permission.

Sonja Vernon
Sonja Vernon, RN, BSN is the Vice President for Student Affairs at GBSC. She has been part of Student Affairs since 2000 and is passionate about working with college students.