Susan Jane King

Thriving with Jesus in life's ongoing challenges

Being Sensitive toward Others


A man who worked among inner city lepers in India visited our Sunday School class this past Sunday. He shared that leprosy damages the nerves so that an individual cannot feel. A leper could have his hand in a fire and not feel the searing pain that serves as a warning to pull it out.

Our guest speaker said the human nerves are so sensitive that we could take one of our hands and put one finger in water, one on glass, one against metal, one on fabric, and one on grass, and our nerves would be able to send those different sensations to the brain to interpret them. The problem today, he said, is that many of us, like the lepers, have lost our sensitivity. We go about our lives desensitized to the promptings of what others might need. We’ve become spiritual and emotional lepers.

He went on to share how Jesus showed great sensitivity to those around Him. He encouraged us that with the help of the Holy Spirit, we could do the same. His message urges all of us to:

Know how others feel

Only God can see the heart (1 Samuel 16:7; Jeremiah 17:10). He knows the depths of others’ feelings and experiences. He can show us how people feel and why they are acting a certain way. He can give us profound insight through His Holy Spirit. Solomon knew that truth, which is why he asked the Lord to give him an understanding heart when it came to his people (1 Kings 3:9). He was considered the wisest of kings, and he knew true wisdom came from the Lord.

We can pray for “all spiritual wisdom and understanding” (Colossians 1:9, NASB), and we are told “the Lord will give you understanding in everything” (2 Timothy 2:7, NASB). People are complex, but the Lord can help us understand their feelings in the same way the brain interprets impulses from the fingertips. We must rely on the Lord for this kind of sensitivity.

Determine what others need

Have you ever been in the place where you wanted to help someone but didn’t know what to do? The Lord can help there as well. He knows precisely what actions are needed on behalf of others. He will tell us what to do on their behalf if we ask Him.

The Lord is intimately acquainted with each person on earth because He created them (Psalm 139:3, 13-14). He sculpted their bodies and souls, so He knows what they need moment by moment. His wisdom and understanding can lead us to do the right thing on behalf of others “in the gentleness of wisdom” (James 3:13, NASB).

The Lord promises, “I will instruct you and teach you in the way which you should go [in what you should do]; I will counsel you with My eye upon you” (Psalm 32:8, NASB). We just need to ask Him what to do as we become sensitive to someone who is hurting.

Represent Jesus in our encounters

Our Sunday School guest speaker encouraged us to ask with every encounter, “Lord, how can I show this person Jesus?” “How can I be His hands, His feet, His voice, His heart?” “What aspect of Jesus do they need to know?” Those questions change the way we view interruptions and interactions with others. Those questions help us see our chance meetings with others as divine appointments.

The Lord will advise us and equip us to be sensitive and responsive in this area as well, especially if we make it the priority of our lives. In the end, the greatest need and the deepest longing in every heart can only be filled by Jesus. May we all be sensitive in interpreting the impulses that draw others to Him!

Question: How did someone’s sensitivity toward you teach you something about Jesus? Comment at the link below.

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Susan Jane King


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Running Together

race photo

David and I after my first 5K

I started running this past year. I was looking for a new way to exercise, something that got me away from my basement exercise equipment and into the world around me. Plus, to be honest, I hoped I could run some with my extremely athletic husband and join him in something he loved.

One of my biggest surprises in this new running adventure has been the way my husband David has stuck by my side and coached me along the way. To me, he is such a picture of Jesus, because in the race of life:

Jesus never leaves us or forsakes us.

David has to slow down, way down, when he runs with me. He runs marathons (26.2 miles) and competes in full Iron Man competitions (swimming 2.4 miles, biking 112 miles, and running 26.2 miles). He possesses great power and ability when it comes to these events, and yet, he chooses to alter his pace, slow down, and meet me at my beginner’s level. When we run together, he never leaves my side. His presence goes with me the entire race.

Jesus did the same for us. He possessed great power and ability; yet, “though He was God, He did not think of equality with God as something to cling to. Instead, He gave up His divine privileges; He took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being. When He appeared in human form, He humbled Himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a cross” (Philippians 2:6-8, NLT).

Jesus slowed way down for our sakes, to make a way for us to be with the Father, and to be with Him in the race of life and for all eternity (John 14:1-6). We can know that He will never leave or forsake us (Hebrews 13:5). He has promised, “I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:20, NASB).

Jesus cares for us and leads us.

David helps me when we run together. He coaches me. He gives me advice about my posture and running stride. He helps to pace me, so I don’t run too fast too soon and exhaust myself early on. He has taught me about hydration and stretching, diet and nutrition. He encourages me all along the way. He convinced me to run a 5K in the fall when I didn’t think I could do it. He continues to suggest other running goals.

Jesus does the same for us in life. He is our Shepherd, the One who cares for, guides, and protects us. He calls us His sheep, and He says, “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me” (John 10:27, NASB). The Lord promises, “I will instruct you and teach you in the way which you should go; I will counsel you with My eye upon you” (Psalm 32:8, NASB). His Holy Spirit within us is our constant Helper, Teacher, and Counselor (John 14:26).

Jesus lays down His life for us.

When David runs with me, he sets his personal goals and aspirations aside in order to help me. He doesn’t focus on his race; rather, he chooses to help me with mine. We are told in Philippians 2:3-4, NASB, “Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.” David lives out those words every time we run together.

Jesus did that. He literally laid down His life for us (John 10:11, 15, 17). He went to the cross, enduring the shame and pain, because He knew what it would accomplish for us (Hebrews 12:2). He thought about us instead of Himself.

In the Christian life, it’s great to have people who come alongside us and remind us of Jesus. People who help us fight the good fight, finish the course, and keep the faith (2 Timothy 4:7). Hopefully, as time goes on, we can do the same for others.

I cherish running with my husband. I love spending time with him. So too in life, the most beautiful part of our race is running it with Jesus. Once we cross the finish line, we receive an even greater prize—spending eternity in the living presence of Jesus.

Question: How are you experiencing the presence of Jesus running with you right now? Comment at the link below.

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Susan Jane King

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Reflections from a New Grandmother


My first grandchild was born on May 29, and he made quite an entrance into the world! Landon Wallace Morgan was born to my daughter Katie and her husband Curt. I’m so in love with that little boy already.

I felt extremely blessed when Katie and Curt invited me to join them at the hospital and share the birth experience with them. None of us envisioned the adventure awaiting us! Katie labored for 28 ½ hours, when all of a sudden, things took a turn for the worse. Her blood pressure skyrocketed, and the baby’s heart rate started dropping. Before we knew it, an entire medical team poured into the room to prepare Katie for an emergency C-section. Landon was born at 2:24 a.m., weighing in at 8 pounds, measuring 20 ½ inches, and looking around intently at the people who already loved him.

The Lord taught me a great deal through that rollercoaster experience of terror and joy, suffering and triumph. It’s difficult to put it all into words, but here is my attempt:


The Lord sees us through.

When they wisked my daughter and son-in-law into the operating room, I looked around at the empty labor room. Medical supplies were scattered all over the floor. The monitors that once contained images and sounds of my grandson’s heartbeat and my daughter’s vital signs were now silent and still. It looked like a war zone. Indeed, now the battle for two lives had moved into another room.

I felt a small undercurrent of fear try to take hold, but something greater repelled it. I could feel the presence of the Lord, and His strength and His love held me in that place. I knew He was with Katie, Curt, and Landon in the operating room too.

I knew the Lord had seen us through to the point of birth. It is very difficult to watch someone you love suffer as my daughter did during labor. Her pain medications wore off several times during delivery, and the medical staff struggled to manage her pain. I felt blessed to be able to encourage, help, and advocate for her, and I was overwhelmed by her bravery and courage during a very long labor. I know the Lord helped her through that time too.

Katie’s husband Curt was so kind and encouraging toward Katie as she labored. He stayed right by her side, took care of her, and loved her through the pain. To me, he was such a picture of how Jesus never leaves us or forsakes us (Hebrews 13:5), and how He goes through the fire with us (Daniel 3:24-25).


Prayer makes an impact.

Prior to Landon’s birth, I had asked many people to pray for him, Katie, and the birth process. My 7 brothers and sisters, their spouses, my parents, my husband’s parents, my husband’s brothers and wives, my Sunday School class members, my Bible Study group, my prayer partners, my close friends, and of course, my husband and children . . . we had lots of people praying. I was texting to many of these people during the delivery, with updates and prayer requests.

I was overwhelmed by the sense of community that developed from those texts. People stayed up with us into the wee hours of the morning, watching and praying. My dear mother got on her knees and told me she refused to get up until she knew that everyone was okay. Other friends told me they were on their knees too. Still others sent me encouraging texts, full of scripture and kind words. Others communicated, “I’m here for you.”

All that prayer did something in the heavenlies . . . and in my heart. Grace, peace, and love entered into that traumatic birth experience on the wings of those prayers. Prayer binds us together (Matthew 8:20), touches the heart of God (Revelation 8:4), and creates an impact on earth (James 5:16). Prayer invites the power and presence of God into our battles.


Joy comes in the morning.

After all the difficulty and suffering, after all the pain, a beautiful baby boy came into our lives. As they were wheeling Katie back into the labor room where I was waiting, she said, “It was all worth it!” She then pulled back the covers on her bed and introduced me to my first grandson. As I held him in my arms, joy washed over me like a flood. A deep love replaced the earlier trauma. Gratitude and rejoicing poured forth from my heart.

Katie’s nurse for much of her labor was named Joy. She exuded that quality and became a steadfast friend through much of Katie’s labor. Looking back, her name announced what was to come. Joy literally came in the morning as the scriptures promise (Psalm 30:5). Joy arrived in the form of a new life that will be part of our family.

Landon radiates joy himself. He smiles all the time, and he makes others smile. The Lord authored all the attributes of this little man, and he is wonder to behold (Psalm 139:13-14).

I know that not all birth experiences result in joyful endings like ours. My heart aches for those who have lost babies or encountered major medical issues after birth. Our experience made me much more sensitive to what can and often does happen to others. My prayer is that the Lord would give those families the joy and peace that He promises, and that only He can give (Nehemiah 8:10; John 14:27). Lord, have mercy.

“You have turned my mourning into joyful dancing. You have taken away my clothes of mourning and clothed me with joy” (Psalm 30:11, NLT).  Only He can give “a crown of beauty for ashes, a joyous blessing instead of mourning, and festive praise instead of despair” (Isaiah 61:3, NLT).

He did this for me at 2:24 a.m. on May 29. He will do the same for you.

Question: How has the Lord brought joy from a difficult situation in your life? Comment at the link below.

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Susan Jane King