Always There

Thursday, May 11, 2017
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Matthew 14:13-14 – When Jesus heard what had happened [to John], he withdrew by boat privately to a solitary place. Hearing of this, the crowds followed him on foot from the towns. When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them and healed their sick. (NIV)

When I experience losing someone that I love, or if I'm having a difficult time, my natural response is to retreat and find somewhere quiet where I can reflect on what has happened. During those times, I tend to push people away, just wanting to get lost in my thoughts. It may seem unusual to some others, but that's how I cope with what may be breaking my heart or worrying my mind.

We often read in the gospels about Jesus healing crowds of people, but today's highlighted verses take place at a deeply emotional time for Christ. He has just heard that His cousin John had been beheaded by Herod, which causes Jesus to go and find a solitary place. He wants to be alone to deal with His grief, because the pain that He must have felt had to have impacted Him. It was a time to get away from the world and reflect upon where His future lay. It was a time to be alone, in order to weep and grieve the loss of family.

But even in the midst of His seeking to be isolated, the crowd clamoured to find Him. There were still people to heal, sicknesses to cure, and demons to cast out. The people needed Jesus to do something for them, and they wanted Him to fix their problems now. When Christ saw them, He could have been angry with them for breaking His time of grief. Instead, as Matthew clearly states it, "he had compassion on them and healed their sick".

I don't know about you, but Jesus' response deeply affects me. It tells me that He always has time to help His people and that He is willing to hear our prayers, complaints, and issues, no matter how long they take or how often we approach Him. Christ's compassion confirms my faith in Him. He knows who I am, and He understands what I need. He helps me when I'm down, and He lifts me up when I most need Him.

Perhaps you're going through a difficult time, or someone you know is having some serious problems. Please understand this: When you come to Christ directly, He hears your prayers and holds you in His compassionate, healing hands. Be embraced by His goodness today, and be encouraged by His love.

Points to ponder: What issues am I struggling with today? Am I willing to bring them to Jesus in my prayers?

Prayer: Lord Jesus, we thank You for Your compassion and mercy, forgiveness and grace. Be with us throughout this day, and grant us Your guidance and love. In Your holy name, we pray. Amen.

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About the author:

John Stuart <>
Knoxville, Tennessee, USA

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    A good word for today John. God bless.

    What a beautiful reflection
    Thank you for it

    Excellent! This is right on and I agree with everything you said in the article. Thanks for writing this.

    Thanks John for your poignant devotional today. In a world that denies time to grieve, your words are very good reminders that time for solace is necessary. Blessings.

    Good Morning, John,
    You know you always hit the spot with me. Thank you.

    This is exactly how I feel and react to distress. I feel as though my skin has been turned inside out and If I cannot be alone it will hurt too much.

    Good morning, John.
    Thank you for your meaningful message today. You know me well!.

    Good morning John,
    As usual your writing touches my heart and soul. Thank you so much for your wise words. Hope your day is filled with blessings.

    Many thanks for your reminder as I too tend to withdraw to contemplate when faced with difficulties and loss.I needed the reminder of Christ’s example of compassion for others at such times although it seems an intrusion !! Always appreciate your messages.

    I enjoyed your story very much. What struck me were the human aspects, such as ” to err is human, and to blame someone for it is more human”.
    Then try to correct our mistakes, and take comfort in Jesus. Thank you for this devotional.

    Very good John.
    You hit the nail on the head.
    Within Our Lord, there is always the tension between the “son of man” and the “Son of God” {the hypostatic union}
    You get the feeling sometimes that the “son of man” longed for going back to a quiet life of the carpenter in Nazareth, while the Divine side of Jesus keeps pulling Himself back to His mission.
    Excellent – keep writing.

    Thank you, John, for your thoughtful Devotional.

    John – I missed the meaning of this passage before. Excellent devotional. Thank you and may God continue to inspire you to write.

    Hi John,
    In my involvement at the local Long Term Care Centre, I see people struggling, both physically and mentally, and I tell them so often to trust in the words of the Bible Psalm 46, Psalm 121 and When Jesus said; “Come to me all you who carry a heavy load, and I will give you rest.”
    Good words, but hard for some of them to apply to their lives as they are now.

    Dear John Stuart,
    Thank you for another very fine devotional.
    I found this a vital message in it:
    Christ’s compassion confirms my faith in Him. He knows who I am, and He understands what I need. He helps me when I’m down, and He lifts me up when I most need Him.
    Thank you for sharing our Lord’s compassion.

    Very nicely said.

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