I took a different route home on Thursday evening to pick up our car from the mechanic. Because it was not my usual routine I noticed things differently, like the people I passed looking wearied and beaten down as if they had barely survived the day’s work. The sky was gray and people seemed gray as well. Most appeared to be barely dragging themselves along, though the few customers in the Apple shop were slightly dreamy while drooling over shiny new gadgets. The most animated were those leaving shops clasping newly purchased joys and the men excitedly embracing mid-life crises in the motorbike shop.
All this got me thinking of how we give the best hours of our lives to work and the resultant weary selves that we bring home to our families and to God (see Ecclesiastes 2:22-23). I know that my family get the remaining energy leftover from my days at work, then God gets the scraps after that.
Jesus calls us who are burdened to come to Him for rest (Matthew 11:28-30), when He saw people looking harassed and helpless He had compassion upon them (Matthew 9:36). The compassion of Jesus is not a useless ‘feeling sorry’ for people, in the gospels He is described as teaching, healing, feeding and even raising the dead out of compassion (Mark 6:34, Matthew 14:14, Mark 8:2, Luke 7:12-15).
I can state with confidence that Jesus has compassion for you (1 Timothy 2:3-5, Matthew 12:20) and just as He did very real things for those upon whom He had compassion during His incarnation, He will also out of compassion do what you need of Him. What you need of Jesus is unlikely to be more stuff or a better job, it is more likely to be the transformed heart and mind wrought by the Holy Spirit, grace in weakness, contentment in adversity, and fellowship with Him.
Perhaps you are like me and think, “chocolate and more money would make me feel better though.” Certainly they do, while the supply lasts and effects of overindulgence haven’t kicked in. God gives us Himself and the promise to always be with us (Matthew 28:20), on the surface this doesn’t seem to help my weariness after a hard day or the sense of drudgery and pointlessness that can engulf me at times. However, when I find the headspace to ponder the meaning that Jesus gives my life, that drudgery and pointlessness melt away.