The text yesterday was Matthew 14:13-33. I’ll just save you a little time – it’s the story of the feeding of the 5,000 (or more than 5,000, if you note they did count the women and children) and the story of Jesus walking on the water.
You might know these two stories: Jesus feeds the crowd with 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish and all are filled and there’s a ton left over; the disciples are caught in a storm, and Jesus walks out to them across the water. Peter, one of the disciples, tries to walk on the water to Jesus….and he does for awhile. But then he notices all the other stuff going on around him, and starts to sink. Good thing Jesus is there….because he saves Peter, brings him back to the boat, and gets in with the disciples. The storms then reside.
Two great stories, both meaningful in many ways to those of us who trust in Jesus for faith.
But I say them as this: two stories involving crisis: one, there’s a food shortage and two, there’s threatening storms. But why do things become a crisis in our lives? When does it happen? I think, it’s when our feelings get the best of us: our fears, our anxiety, our uncertainty, our hate. We give into those, and we tend to act out of those fears. When those feelings get the best of us, then it affects our actions.
I wonder though, what does it mean for the feeling of compassion to get the best of us? It seems to get the best of Jesus in both stories….and when Jesus acts, something happens. A miracle happens. The crisis subsides…..not so much in the way that Jesus makes them magically disappear, but through his compassion acts in such a way to see that we have more than enough, the storms do pass, that we were walking on water all along in the first place. Jesus’ compassion gets the best of him….and perhaps it gets the best of us as well. And I wonder, what would happen in our lives if compassion did get the best of us rather than fear, hate, judgment, pride, a sense of entitlement…….
That’s the challenge this week: let compassion get the best of you when a “crisis” comes. See what happens. And maybe take a minute to share that with people……either on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or even in the comment section of this blog.
What happens when compassion gets the best of you?