‘Another time Jesus went into the synagogue, and a man with a shrivelled hand was there. Some of them were looking for a reason to accuse Jesus, so they watched him closely to see if he would heal him on the Sabbath.’ Mark 3.2
If you were to create a perfect setting for prayer, it would probably be somewhere people would feel loved and welcome, with a quiet, peaceful atmosphere conducive to receiving.
There was none of this for the man in this particular story! His shrivelled hand was healed, but the atmosphere was far from ideal. The whole story seemed to take place in the context of suspicion and accusation, with the religious leaders looking for a reason to accuse Jesus. Yet despite this intrigue in the background, the compassion and power of Jesus flowed and a man was healed.
You may feel that the atmosphere surrounding your life is far from ideal. Perhaps there is very little peace in your day and you may not even think of yourself as the sort of person that Jesus would heal. Yet in every situation, the compassion of Jesus is there for every one of us. The difficulty is finding his compassion in the midst of full and eventful lives.
The place to start, as with so many issues, is to acknowledge God’s deep love for you. He loved you so much that even before you did anything good, he gave his life for you - so what could you possibly do to stop him loving you? Take a few moments right now to remind yourself of his love and compassion for you.
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The Revd John Ryeland, Director of The Christian Healing Mission
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