God, Compassionate and Caring

When I was thinking about crying, I asked myself, “Why do we cry? When do we cry?” We cry when we are hurt, afflicted, suffering, when we feel unbearable pain. Have you ever thought that God would cry? Or even better, that He would cry for you and for me? Many of us think as David once thought, that God has forsaken and forgotten us. He created us and left us alone to live a life the way we want to live. “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me, so far from my cries of anguish?” (Psalm 22:1) I am sure these words sound familiar; Jesus uttered the same words on the cross.

God is compassionate and caring even when we sin. Although our ancestors Adam and Eve disobeyed God’s command and God expelled them from the garden of Eden, God never stopped loving and caring for them. As soon as Adam and Eve felt naked because of their sin, God compassionately made a garment of animal skin. (Gen. 3:21) I believe that was the skin of a lamb, representing Jesus—the Lamb of God (John 1:36).

Since the fall of man, God has been trying to reach each and every one of us to tell us that He loves us and cares for us. Scripture says, “In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom also he made the universe.” (Heb. 1:1-2) See, if God did not care and did not love us, He wouldn’t have bothered sending prophets and preachers “many times and in various ways.” In a way, He is waiting for us like a father would when the child leaves home.

God was not satisfied with sending prophets and preachers to tell us how much He loved us. God couldn’t have done more than sending His Son Jesus to show us that He loves us unconditionally without reservation and tell us that in spite of our shortcomings, rebellions and sins, God the Father still loves us (John 3:16).

God never wants us to get hurt. “Do I take any pleasure in the death of the wicked?…Rather, am I not pleased when they turn from their ways and live?” (Ez. 18:23) Through the prophet Isaiah God pleads, saying, “Turn to me and be saved, all you ends of the earth; for I am God, and there is no other.” (Is 45:22)

Space doesn’t permit me to quote many references from the Bible where God is pleading, begging us and crying for us when He sees us suffering, in pain and in affliction and when we are going in the wrong direction. (Jer. 13:17, Zech. 2:8) Do you know how painful it is when you or someone touches the pupil of your eyes? That is how sensitive God is toward us. I have heard so many people think that God has sent the coronavirus to punish us. Our loving and gracious God would not punish us with evil. Unfortunately, because of sin the world was cursed (Gen. 3:17), we brought upon ourselves sicknesses and disasters. Through polluting the world, unfortunately we are reaping the results. 

The shortest verse in the Bible is John 11:35. “Jesus wept.” Jesus wept because His good friend Lazarus was dead. If that was the case, then why did Jesus delay His visit two more days after He was told that, “The one you love is sick?” (11:3) As a matter of fact Jesus intentionally stayed two more days, making sure Lazarus was dead, because He said, “This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God’s glory so that God’s Son may be glorified through it.” (John 11:4) Then He told His disciples, “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep; (died) but I am going there to wake him up.” (John 11:11) Then when He arrived in Bethany, He told Martha, “Your brother will rise again.” The question is this: why then did Jesus shed tears in front of Lazarus’ tomb? First, Jesus was mourning and expressing sympathy. Second and more significant, Jesus wept because God’s plan from the beginning was to be with us forever, without tasting death. Because of Adam and Eve’s disobedience, we inherited death. Jesus felt sad and wept remembering the original plan of God. Keep in mind that Jesus was part of creating Adam and Eve. (Gen. 1:26) What a compassionate, caring and loving heavenly Father we have. 

Some 700 years before the birth of Christ, Isaiah prophesied the coming of Jesus. It was unbelievable then and is still today for too many. (Is. 53:1-5) So I would say, although the Pharisees and the Sadducees asked Jesus to be crucified and the Roman soldiers nailed the nails into Jesus’ hands and feet, the real reason of His crucifixion was for everybody, you and me included, who reject His lordship and message. “He was wounded for our transgressions; He was bruised for our iniquities.” Saint Paul clarifies beautifully, “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Rom. 5:8)

(Photo: Daniel Day Media/Unsplash)

God proved that He loved us regardless of our disobedience and rebellion toward Him. Christ was crucified just for you. I always say if you were the only one on earth Jesus would have come just for you. That is how much He loves you and you are precious for Him.

God loves the sinner, but He hates the sin. Even on the way to cross Jesus was not concerned about the pain and the cross, He was concerned about the sins of mankind. Then on the cross, one of Jesus’ last words was an expression of love. He begged His Father saying, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.” (Luke 23:33) Yes beloved, we have a crying, compassionate and caring heavenly Father. He wants to forgive our sins through Jesus Christ our Lord, to give us strength and courage to confront all the adversaries of this life, fearlessly confront sickness and pain, just by committing ourselves to Him and responding to Jesus’ invitation—“Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.” (Matt. 11:28)

Do you live and plan your life from birth to cemetery or from birth to eternity? Keep in mind that you were created for eternity, and you have a crying, loving and compassionate heavenly Father who is waiting for you. “The Lord is not slow about keeping His promise (of His second coming). He is waiting for you. The Lord does not want any person to be punished forever. He wants all people to be sorry for their sins and turn from them.” (II Peter 3:9) At the end of the Armenian church service the choir invites the congregation to “Draw near to the Lord and take the light. Alleluia! Taste and see that the Lord is good.”

Archpriest Fr. Aram Stepanian

Archpriest Fr. Aram Stepanian

Archpriest Fr. Aram Stepanian

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