A woman was hanging laundry one day, when a dog wandered into her yard. She could tell from his collar and well-fed belly that he had a home. When she walked into her house, however, the dog followed her. He meandered down the hall, plopped himself in a corner and fell asleep. An hour later, he walked toward the door and the woman let him out.
The next day, the dog returned. Once again he walked into the house, plopped himself in the corner and took a nap.
This routine continued for a number of days. Finally curiosity got the better of the woman and she pinned a note to the dog’s collar which read: “Every afternoon, your dog comes to my house for a nap.”
The next day, the dog arrived as usual, but this time with a different note pinned to his collar. The note simply read: “This dog lives in a home with ten children. He’s just trying to get some rest.”
There came a point in Jesus’ ministry when he tried desperately to get some rest. Word about him had spread throughout Galilee. People flocked from miles around to hear him speak or see a miracle. The paparazzi hounded him. The people mobbed him. He became so busy he didn’t even have time to eat.
So he decided to get away for a few days. He got into a boat with his disciples and sailed across the Sea of Galilee to a solitary place. The people, however, wouldn’t let him rest. As he sailed, they ran around the giant lake, and in every town along the way, the size of the mob grew.
By the time Jesus and his disciples arrived on the other side, a horde of thousands was waiting. When Jesus saw the massive crowd, however, he didn’t get mad. He didn’t yell. He didn’t shout, “Leave me alone!” To the contrary, when Jesus saw them, “he had compassion on them” (Mark 6:34).
In the original Greek, it literally says, “his intestines were moved.” That sounds strange to our modern ears. Today we talk about compassion being felt in the heart. The Greeks felt it in their intestines.
We can understand that. You see a heartbreaking story on TV – a natural disaster, a brutal murder or children starving in Africa. You feel it deep down in the bottom of your stomach.
That’s what Jesus felt for those people. He was never too busy or too tired to help anyone. No request was too big; no request was too small. Jesus cared that deeply for them.
And he cares that deeply for you. You are never bothering Jesus. Sometimes we don’t want to bother God with problems we think are too insignificant. Our God, however, is never too tired or too busy to listen.
Sometimes it doesn’t feel that way. Sometimes it feels like God isn’t listening. Sometimes it feels like he doesn’t care. But the truth is that when you hurt, he feels it deep down in the bottom of his belly.
God loves you with a gut-wrenching love. The fact that he allows you to hurt for a while, doesn’t mean he doesn’t care. It is precisely because he does care for us so deeply that he allows us to go through pains and problems to make us stronger – to bring us closer to him.
God’s love for you runs so deep he allowed nails to be driven into his hands and a crown of thorns to perforate his skull. His compassion for you is so profound he died your death. He suffered the hell you deserve.
Sometimes it feels like God doesn’t care. Sometimes it seems like he is too tired or too busy to be concerned with our puny problems, but that’s not the truth.
Your God loves you with a gut-wrenching love.