"They ask me for just decisions and seem eager for God to come near them. 'Why have we fasted,' they say,' and you have not seen it? Why have we humbled ourselves, and you have not noticed?' Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke? Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter--when you see the naked, to clothe him, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?" --Isaiah 58:3, 6-7
God's heart intent is to alleviate suffering and he is bending over backward to do it. He is moving heaven and earth to dry the tear, lighten the load, ease the burden, mend the marriage, give to the poor, care for the widow, stamp out crime, help the elderly, uphold justice, bandage the battered, and much more. God rallies us to his noble cause, but we often fall behind.
God longs to push back the pain through those who serve as his body, his hands and feet on earth. "He is the head of the body, the church" (Colossians 1:8). And "From him the whole body... builds itself up in love, as each part does its work" (Ephesians 4:15-16).
God has placed his work in your hands and "We take our lead from Christ, who is the source of everything we do" (Ephesians 4:15 from The Message). God's directions to us couldn't be clearer. But we hem and haw. This is ironic since so many of us fault Him for allowing suffering to be the world's status quo. (The quo wouldn't be so status if we got off our duffs and followed his lead). Let's change that today!
Lord Christ, you are my head and I take directions from you today - show me how I can partner with you to alleviate suffering in my world.