Does God care? God is moved with compassion when He hears our cries; He moves heaven and earth to come to our rescue.
Pain stirs the heart of a father like nothing else.
Hi, this is Joni Eareckson Tada and welcome to "Joni and Friends". And if you’re a dad, I just know you’d agree ‘cause when your child is hurting, or he’s sick it really wrenches your heart, right? Well, my friend, Jim, knows all about this. He often has to leave his three little boys when he flies away on business. On a recent trip, as the family drove together to the airport, the seven-year-old son gladly took last-minute instructions on "how to help Mommy" while Daddy was gone. The five-year-old bravely tucked in his chin and promised he would do his chores. But as they turned into the airport, little Daniel, the two-year-old, all smiles and jabbering up until that point, suddenly spotted an airplane on the runway. And when he saw that plane, he started wailing and sobbing! He knew it meant that his daddy was getting ready to leave on a long trip.
Jim told me later, "You know, it just about tore my heart out. I almost canceled the trip right then. We got out of the car, got out my luggage, and for the longest while I just kept hugging my little boy." Well, even as Jim was sharing all this, I could see that his eyes were welling up with tears, and it occurred to me: oh my goodness, if the crying from his child tugged at Jim's heart, how much more must our tears move our heavenly Father. Friend, nothing grips God's heart like the tortured cry of one of His children. Because listen to what Psalm 18 says:
"From his temple [God] heard my voice; my cry came before him, into his ears. The earth trembled and quaked, and the foundations of the mountains shook. He parted the heavens and came down. He reached down from on high and took hold of me; he drew me out of deep waters." (Psalm 18)
Now I think that portion of scripture is so fascinating. I mean, just watch what takes place in Psalm 18 after David says, "I cried to my God for help." First, God is roused by David’s cry – I mean just his cry! Next, the earth trembles, mountains shake, heavens are parted and the Lord reaches down – it’s like He’s saying, “Get out of my way mountains; I'm about to move heaven and earth to come to the aid of my child!” I love that, because it’s clear from Psalm 18 that our questions and tearful cries actually move the Almighty in a powerful way. He parts heaven and shakes earth to respond. He reaches down. He takes hold. And how does He take hold of us? Well, Jesus Christ is God's embrace; Jesus is God’s way of reaching down and taking hold.
That’s the compassion of a Father! And speaking of Jesus, can God the Father turn a deaf ear to the plea of His Son on the cross? (If Jim can't, you bet God can't), and the answer resounds from an empty tomb three days later: the earth trembled, the mountains shook and God reached down and rescued His Son. And because the Father raised Jesus, there is hope for us all. Jesus felt the slap from God so that we could feel the caress of God. And that’s something every parent wants to get across to his child – to learn early about the compassion of our heavenly Father. It’s why I hope you’ll encourage the boys and girls in your life to visit our Kids’ Corner at joniandfriends.org, ‘cause my team and I have taken great pains to help children understand why and how they can trust God when they hurt. And there are lots of great videos about different disabilities to watch, as well. Again, that’s Kids’ Corner at joniandfriends.org. And remember if you’re hurting today, you have a Father who cares!
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