“As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him; for he knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust. The life of mortals is like grass, they flourish like a flower of the field; the wind blows over it and it is gone, and its place remembers it no more. But from everlasting to everlasting the Lord’s love is with those who fear him, and his righteousness with their children’s children— with those who keep his covenant and remember to obey his precepts.” Psalm 103:13-18 NIV
From time to time, I find myself parked in a section of scripture, thinking about it, praying about it, reading it over and over. Psalm 103 has been that section this past week. It was suggested by a friend that I read it and think about the theme of God’s love toward me about a week ago. In my time of reflection, I came to this and asked God what His compassion is like. Immediately my mind went back to a time almost 18 years ago when my youngest son was born. There is nothing more needy than a newborn baby. They are pretty basic: eat… poop… cry… repeat… No words of thanks uttered from their mouth, abilities to repay, nothing. Just the aforementioned cycle over and over. Newborns are so fragile and when a newborn has a health issue that requires care it is a time of great angst for the parents. My youngest son had a traumatic birth. We were seconds away from the resuscitation team being called in shortly after he was delivered. He was turning blue; it was pretty scary. Then the issues breathing kicked in a little later that night. He landed in the NICU. I remember being taken into see him shortly after being admitted. My 8-pound 2-ounce baby boy laying there with tubes all over him and prongs up his nose… hard to accept as a mom of 4 who didn’t have any issues with her first 3. My heart broke. Then the memory that is etched in my mind forever was when the nurses told me they needed to change the tubes out in his nostrils. They told me I may want to leave, and I agreed. As I was walking away, I looked back for a second only to see my baby arch his tiny back about 2 inches off the bed as they pulled the tubes out and changed them. I lost it. Tears flowed. I wanted him whole. No more pain, no more poking and prying his tiny little body. As I sat deep in the memory of that time, it occurred to me, how I felt then is how God does when He sees us struggle. That was the answer to my question of what God’s compassion is like.
I am much like a newborn when it comes to God. I find myself with nothing of real substance that God really needs, and the truth be known I am desperately needy of Him. But God, my heavenly Daddy, finds me to be so very valuable, because I am His. He knows just how fragile I am, “But dust” yet His love is with me, and though I don’t understand situations because of my limited perspective, He is there working in every way for my Good and His glory. The very same way I felt as I watched the nurses in the NICU working with my son, is the way God feels as He orchestrates the events of my life sometimes good sometimes bad in His sovereignty. He hurts when I do as well, and He promises that His love will NEVER fail. The comfort comes when I truly believe and trust. That is when God shows Himself to be what I needed all along, and He wraps His love around me and holds me close. He is the compassionate father who never fails.