We’re all like sheep who’ve wandered off and gotten lost.
We’ve all done our own thing, gone our own way.
And God has piled all our sins, everything we’ve done wrong,
on him, on him. Isaiah 53:6 (The Message)
If you step back and open your spiritual eyes you will see that some of the most compassionate people in this world are lost and desperately trying to meet needs in their own strength or by strong-arming the strengths of others. To those of us who know and serve Christ the compassion these beautiful people have feels demanding. “YOU meet my needs for security, YOU feed me, YOU give them a place to stay, YOU buy my clothing, YOU put MY needs or HER needs or HIS needs or even an animal’s needs above the needs of yourself, your family, your business, your church. All the needs they want us to meet are legitimate needs. Needs and commands written on our hearts by God’s word. However, it is impossible to meet our basic needs outside of God’s provision. And if you are lost, you are wandering from God who is the source.
Jesus commanded the disciples feed a crowd. Remember that? He gave them a chance to consider how it would work and look if less than 1% of a group was tasked with feeding everyone. Had the boy’s lunch not been handed over to Jesus, only those who brought their own lunch would have eaten that night.
We must have Jesus to meet the most basic of needs and it’s absolutely necessary for us to be found in him if we are going to meet the needs of others. Consider what Paul says:
“So if you’re serious about living this new resurrection life with Christ, act like it. Pursue the things over which Christ presides. Don’t shuffle along, eyes to the ground, absorbed with the things right in front of you. Look up, and be alert to what is going on around Christ—that’s where the action is. See things from his perspective.” Colossians 3:1-2
Compassion “acts like it”. Compassion is a deep love for others and deep love for others is demonstrated by Christ. Our hearts know this whether we are “serious about living this new resurrection life” or not. Compassion will tug at you when you see a need, but it becomes a heavy weight to wander around with if we don’t allow Jesus to carry it. There is a saying that “not all who wander are lost”. But if you are wandering around without your eyes on Jesus, you are lost, angry with others, desperate for hope, and likely afraid. This is not true compassion – you are the one with a desperate need.
This wandering is the result of “doing our own thing and going our own way”. The ultimate destination of this wandering has a big welcome sign that says – “You’re Lost”. But our compassionate Savior is always near always ready to welcome you home. Admitting your lost is the next step, he will then open your spiritual eyes so you can really see and keep your eyes on The Groom.