Compassion in Slow Motion

Isaiah 30:1-26

The timing is as critical as the involvement. You don’t just force your way in. Even if you’ve got the stuff that’s needed . . . even if you hold the piece perfectly shaped to fit the other person’s missing part of the puzzle . . . you can’t push it into place. You must not try.

You must do the most difficult thing for compassion to do.

You must wait.

Even if there is rebellion? Even if there’s rebellion.

Even if sin is occurring? Yes, often even then.

Even if others are suffering and disillusioned and going through the misery of misunderstanding, heartache, and sleepless nights? Believe it or not, yes.

There are times (not always, but often) when the better part of wisdom restrains us from barging in and trying to make someone accept our help. The time isn’t right, so we wait.

Even the Lord waits, as when Isaiah reported to the nation whom the Lord called “rebellious children” (Isa. 30:1). These people were rife with shame, reproach, unfaithful alliances, oppression, and a ruthless rejection of God’s holy Word. Their unwillingness to repent added insult to injury.

But what was Jehovah’s response? Hidden away in the first part of verse 18 is the incredible statement: “Therefore the LORD longs to be gracious to you, and therefore He waits on high to have compassion on you.”

Instead of storming into the dark alleys of Judah, screaming “Repent!” and shining bright lights to expose the filthy litter of their disobedience, the Lord tapped His foot, folded His arms . . . and waited. Not even the Lord pushed His way in. He waited until the time was right.

Our Lord would love to piece together the shattered fragments of your life. But He is waiting . . . graciously waiting until the time is right.

Until you are tired of the life you are living . . . until you see it for what it really is.

Until you are weary of coping . . . of taking charge of your own life . . . until you realize the mess you are making of it.

Until you recognize your need for Him.

He’s waiting . . .

God’s timing is always on time.

Sometimes wisdom restrains us from barging in and making someone accept our help. The time isn't right.

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Taken from Day by Day with Charles Swindoll by Charles R. Swindoll. Copyright © 2000 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. Used by permission of Thomas Nelson.

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Accuracy, clarity, and practicality all describe the Bible-teaching ministry of Charles R. Swindoll. Chuck is the chairman of the board at Insight for Living and the chancellor of Dallas Theological Seminary. Chuck also serves as the senior pastor of Stonebriar Community Church in Frisco, Texas, where he is able to do what he loves most—teach the Bible to willing hearts. His focus on practical Bible application has been heard on the Insight for Living radio broadcast since 1979.