Can I see anotherís woe and not be in
Can I see anotherís grief and not seek for kind relief?
Every experienced counsellor faces
the challenge that if they give themselves wholeheartedly to
someone, they risk being sucked into an emotional vortex that will
leave them as weighed down as the people they are trying to help. If
they remain too aloof, however, they may find themselves unable to
reach the personís heart.
It causes the Lord much heartache when His perfect Love is rejected
by the people on whom He has set His heart. How can we draw closer
to Him this way? By allowing our sufferings to develop in us a
deeper compassion. Just as we have been at pains throughout this
book to emphasise the importance of giving full expression to our
grief, so we are in true biblical tradition when we cry out to the
Lord from the bottom of our heart and at the top of our voice for
the things we are most concerned about.
In his powerful chapter ďWrestling Match,Ē Philip Yancey
outlines the urgent and indeed abrupt nature of the prayers of many
of the saints as they struggle with perplexing griefs and
sufferings. If this at times this makes them sound decidedly
discourteous rather than meek and reverent, Yancey argues that God
infinitely prefers people to deal with Him directly than to remain
May I encourage you to spend quality time in the company of the
prophets? The writings of the prophets steep us in the Lordís
presence and perspective in a way we will undoubtedly need in the
uncertain times that lie ahead. It is in these all too often
undiscovered parts of the Bible that we hear God sharing His
longings and griefs, may I urge you to find modern translations and
insightful commentaries that bring these Scriptures to life, which
will draw you more fully into their world?7
Reflect and Pray
just as You mourned over the multitudes
because You saw them as sheep
without a shepherd:
let me share more of what You are feeling Ė
even when You are mourning;
I aspire to join in spirit with that
pantheon of heroes and heroines,
who in every time and clime,
have trod the path to glory:
from the saints of ancient Rome;
through a thousand prison cells,
where precious souls are bruised
beneath a hail of deadly accusation.
Draw me closer to Your heart
so that I can take a prophetic stance
as I pray and interact
with nations (. . . )
communities (. . .)
and professions (. . .)
May I share the same love and passion
for them that I feel for my own friends and family. In Jesusí name,
When Grief and Deception
Our capacity for self-delusion is boundless.
Although King Henry VIII considered himself a Christian, he passed
edicts that ran entirely counter to Godís law, spreading great grief
and even terror in the process. By dissolving the monasteries and
confiscating their assets, he left the poor with nowhere to go.
Advisers who did not agree with him likewise risked being put to
death. This was the fate of John Fisher, who had once been close to
the king. When the time came for Fisherís sentence to be carried
out, he made his way to the scaffold in his best clothes.
Read More . . .
6 Yancey, P. (2006) Prayer. Does it make any difference?
Hodder and Stoughton.
7 For an introductory overview, see the section on the Prophets in
David Pawson's Unlocking the Bible. Collins 2003
Back to top
On to When Grief and Deception Engulf Nations
Back to Burden bearing in the Spirit