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As Always As Usual

As Always As Usual

03 March 2011

Today’s Reading: Numbers 32-33; Mark 10

Scripture:

Then Jesus left Capernaum and went down to the region of Judea and into the area east of the Jordan River. As always there were the crowds, and as usual he taught them. (Mark 10:1 NLT)

Everywhere Jesus and his band of followers traveled, the crowds gathered. These were crowds of needy people, hungry people, and desperate people. And as usual, when the crowds gathered, Jesus ministered to them as if they were the only people on earth!

There are several accounts in the Gospels of Jesus and the crowds. In each of those accounts, Scripture records that when Jesus saw the crowds, he saw them as sheep without a shepherd, directionless, defenseless, and desperately needy. And Jesus was moved with compassion for them and for their condition.

Sometimes when Jesus was moved with compassion, he taught them how to live well. Sometimes, moved with compassion, Jesus focused on healing the sick, restoring sight to the blind, making the crippled walk, and setting them free from Satan’s power. On more than one occasion, Jesus, moved with compassion, miraculously multiplied bread and fish to feed hungry people. But always, when the crowds gathered, Jesus was moved with compassion and helped them in the most appropriate way.

We Christ-followers are now among the people as Jesus was in the Gospel stories. We see the needs and we too are moved with compassion. But sometimes we get weary. We feel inadequate. We get frustrated that the same people with the same needs show up again and again. We begin to experience “compassion fatigue!” We start thinking, “I’ve done my part! It’s someone else’s turn to do this now!”

As caring Christ-followers, we must be aware of the danger of compassion fatigue. Let’s seek to stay spiritually and emotionally refreshed in practical and spiritual ways so we don’t get sidelined by the As Always – As Usual pressure of the needs of people.

Prayer:

Father, Please keep us sensitive to your heart of compassion and fueled by your Spirit’s power. Keep us from compassion fatigue and keep us, like Jesus, moved with compassion – moved to do something to help. Please be our Shepherd and restore our souls as we continue, as usual, to love and serve and give. In Jesus’ Name!

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