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When our eyes are opened to someone else’s pain and it’s like our heart expands and feels too big for our chest.
Reference: v.4 When I heard these things, I sat down and wept. For some days I mourned and fasted and prayed before the God of heaven. (NIV Bible)
Explore: A dear friend of mine has a true heart for children, particularly those in need. In her time she has fostered nearly 100 babies, adopted 3 and hugged thousands! Whenever she sees a child in need her heart aches and she will go out of her way to assist them in anyway she knows how. We all experience situations like this. It often happens when our eyes are opened to someone else’s pain and it’s like our heart expands and feels too big for our chest. While noticing this feeling is step number one, the action we put behind the emotion is a very important step number two.
Nehemiah felt his heart ache as he heard of the plight of the Israelites. They had turned from God, their city had been destroyed and they were no desolate and disgraced. While Nehemiah was fortunate enough to have a job as cupbearer to the king, his heart ached for those who were not as fortunate.
Application: There is so much pain and suffering in our world. From the child dying of starvation on the other side of the world, to the woman dealing with domestic abuse next door. If we opened our eyes to the reality of others, our heart would ache too. Some of these situations seem too huge for us to deal with, but we can start small. Sponsoring one child changes a families future. Being a listening ear can bring courage and confidence. We may not build a city but we can create a positive haven. When your heart aches, don’t let the feeling pass by. Respond to the Spirit’s prompting and be a willing servant.
Prayer: Holy Spirit, prompt us into action when we see the pain of this world. Show us how we can respond when our heart aches. Amen.
What situations make your heart ache? What can be done to alleviate the pain of others?