Compassionate Love: Displaying compassion for those who struggle with mental illness (c) 2018 Nancy Virden, Always The Fight Ministries
Jesus never claimed to be the political or militant leader that would break the Roman Empire’s hold over his people. Many hoped he would, some believed that was his purpose, and together these crowds cheered him into Jerusalem.
Today is Palm Sunday, the day Christians celebrate the beginning of Holy Week. In about 28 AD, thirty-three year-old Jesus rode into town on a formerly unridden donkey colt. People threw cloaks and palm branches on the ground to mark a hero’s entrance. Similar to our red carpets today, this was an act of celebration and even devotion.
What most did not understand, even some of his closest disciples, was that he came to free his people from sin and death, not Roman rule.
The What IS
How often do we miss the best for the seems-good? Life is full of tyrants like cancer, poverty, loneliness, and injustice. Struggles are part of everyone’s existence. We naturally want rescue from calamity and pain. If our worship of God is dependent on him making hurt disappear, we will grow angry and turn away from him when life hurts anyway.
I’m sitting in my office recovering from surgery for cancer diagnosed a few weeks ago. I do not feel well, however I am able to think, write, and complete basic functions. Not everyone following surgery can say the same. I’m grateful for my health.
Yesterday I found out my income is taking a deep cut. This is not the first time lack of money has threatened my wellbeing. I have kept a list of occasions God has provided for me in unexpected and unusual ways during financially hopeless times. I’m grateful God doesn’t let go.
My cousin’s daughter went missing March 10. My heart hurts for my baby cousin and his family. Anxiety over this has made me physically ill, yet I know who holds the future. I’m grateful H. is not out of her heavenly Father’s sight.
The What WILL BE
Yes, we may feel as if unhappy news pins us down. We could rail against a God who allows bad things to happen. We might demand he answer our prayers the way we dictate.
Another possibility is to turn our faces to notice Jesus as he rode into Jerusalem.
He knew he would be hung on a cross by the end of that week. He was aware which voices shouted in joy for his coming and which ones whispered hate, plotting his murder. He was able to run away, and chose instead to complete his mission. He saw beyond the immediate injustice and agony to the day you and I have an option to believe and be set free permanently. Because of Jesus, we can enjoy close relationship with God.
I do not like pain, anxiety, difficulty, and the like. I do pray for God to take it away. However my faith is in the One who knows the rest of the story.
May my life and yours point to Jesus as the Way, the Truth, and the Life for all who do not know hope.
Today’s Helpful Word
NOTE: I am not a doctor or mental health professional. I speak only from personal experiences with and observations of mental illness, abuse, and addiction. In no way is this website intended to substitute for professional mental or behavioral health care.
If you are struggling emotionally today or feeling suicidal, or concerned about someone who is, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255). Hope and help are yours.
Palm branches from rgbstock.com; Jesus on donkey from http://www.LumoProject.com