“Behold, we count them happy which endure. Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord; that the Lord is very [compassionate], and of tender mercy.”James 5:11
I was about 10 years old, playing on swings with my friends. We were going high and pretending to propel ourselves into the sky. One of my friends went really high and then let go and landed safely on his feet. It seemed easy enough, so I propelled myself higher and did the same. My departure from the swing was spot on to what my friend had done, but my landing was quite a different story.
I looked up into the sky and the ground came quicker than I anticipated. My legs could not slow my in-air momentum, but my left knee did a great job of stopping me once I connected with the ground. The pain was intense but I dared not let a tear come out of my eye as my friends stood by watching. My dad was playing a softball game nearby, and I was desperately trying to find my mom. I found her and showed her my knee and she consoled me and told me it would be okay. I hobbled around a little bit until we got home.
My mom retrieved items out of the medicine cabinet and gently cleaned out my knee. It was a pretty bad scrape and you could feel heat coming from it, but it did not require a visit to the emergency room. She looked at my knee everyday and continued to put ointment on it until the scabbed was gone and it appeared that it had healed. I am not sure how many hours she put into my knee, but she had great compassion on me to ensure it was free from infection.
Several months went by and one day, I woke up with my left knee triple its normal size. It was swollen beyond recognition, and I knew there was a big problem. I was running a fever and getting the chills, so I just simply could not walk this off. My mom took me to the emergency room where they looked it over, told me to ice it and everything would be okay. I ran a high fever throughout the night so my mom took me to a specialist the following day as she was concerned that I was getting worse. The doctor took one look at my knee and told us they were going have to drain it. The doctor drained my knee (so painful!) and put me in a full leg cast. I was immobile for a couple of weeks and my mom took care of me throughout that time. It was not her first time taking care of me and it definitely was not her last. My mom always showed compassion on me and she was always available to comfort me.
I think of my God the same way and the many times that He is compassionate with me and full of tender mercy. I think of all the times He patiently waits for me when I choose to sin and walk away, and the times He forgives me for committing the same sin over and over again. The afflictions we face are but for a moment as even Job who experienced tremendous trials but still endured through it all. In the midst of heartache, he knew a loving Father who comforted him and showed compassion on him. Our heavenly Father cleans our wounds and comforts us like no other.
Have you come to know the comfort of a loving Father? Do you realize He cares for you like no other? The trials and heartaches we endure are for a moment, but there will be no tears shed in Heaven. There is no comfort like His comfort and there is nothing to compare to His tender mercy. May we rest in Him and may we seek Him first in trials and times of hurt. Psalms 37:7a states, “Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for him:” We are safe when we trust in Him and in Him is no safer place to be.