A friend called me last night. She went in for an ultrasound yesterday and found out her baby had died. She was in her 2nd trimester. Now she has to decide if she should have a D & C or wait on a natural miscarriage. There are emotional and physical pros and cons of each. While I have miscarried and could identify with her at one level, I have never had a D & C and didn’t have much wisdom to offer one way or the other on that.
But we talked about God the Father. She already knew the truth of God’s character, but it was helpful to us both to talk through it again.
God the Father is sovereign—in laymen’s terms, He’s in control.
God the Father is wise—He knows what He’s doing.
God the Father is compassionate—He loves His children.
After our conversation, I started to meditate on this 3rd attribute of the Father. Thanks to Mrs. Kissam, my 8th grade Latin teacher, I know that the term compassion is from the root Latin words for suffering together (com—with or together, and pati—to suffer). And meditating on the root of this term opened my eyes to something about my Father. He doesn’t just generally feel sorry for me or love me with a standoffish type of concern. He enters into my suffering. He suffers WITH me.
Exodus 34:6 (NIV) And he passed in front of Moses, proclaiming, “The LORD, the LORD, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness,
Understanding the term compassion, that God accompanies us in our suffering, leads me to wonder about this verse on Paul’s desire to enter into Jesus’ suffering.
Philippians 3:10 (NIV) I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death,
I can’t say I fully understand either one—God entering into my suffering or the possibility of fellowship with Christ in His. But as I go through my own suffering, it changes my perspective significantly to think that my Sovereign Father is walking intimately with me through it.