““Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.”
Matthew 5:7 NASB
The tender mercies of God
In my youth I was indestructible, or so I thought. I used to walk everywhere and could push my body to perform incredible feats of strength and endurance. Not only did I feel indestructible, I felt like I needed no one. I went through life autonomously, doing what was in my will and thinking little of the conventions of others.
As I got older and moved into my thirties, age began to chip away at my facade of invincibility. My blood pressure began to rise, aches and pains marked my mornings and my stamina began to wane. God was reminding me that the number of my days was finite.
Then the bottom fell out.
It all started with ulcers in my left leg that saddled me with weekly appointments with the wound clinic for a year and a half. Then cancer came. In that season of pain, I experienced mercy. Bound to my bed with a tumor on my spine, I was totally dependent on the mercy of nurses and CNAs at the Mayo Clinic as I could do little for myself.
In the middle of my humiliation and the depth of my need God began to move in my heart in ways that were nothing short of miraculous. He changed the way I looked at others. I learned to extend the mercy of forgiveness to those who had harmed me in the past. My urge was to hold the grudge and give to those who damaged me the same in return. To forgive them and give the pain of the insult to God to deal with, ran counter to all that I felt. God transformed my heart.
He also began to work on my heart in regard to the plight of those who are hurting. I must confess that for most of my life I was one who really cared little for others. It was all about me. Other people were tools to get what I wanted. I was quite the manipulator. God touched me with the desire to pray for others. As I prayed, my heart was transformed as I stepped out of my life, my reality, my need and into the lives of others. Empathy flowed from my former heart of stone and transformed it into a heart filled with compassion.
We are in a time where mercy is greatly needed. This crisis has exposed the weaknesses in our world system. There are those that want more government to come in and fill in the gaps. Others are waiting for someone else to step and help those who are falling through the cracks. Far too many don’t care at all. I was one of those people.
I am encouraged by the stories that are coming out of this uncertain time of people who are stepping into the gap to show the mercy to those in need. I was so encouraged as I saw some of my brothers and sisters in Christ offering to check on the elderly and the shut in to see if they could be of help. I thank my God for them!
God has given the Church of Jesus Christ a golden opportunity to shine the light of the Gospel on an unbelieving world that is in panic mode. We have received the mercy of God made manifest by His grace given us by Jesus death, burial and resurrection.
We are new people with deep empathy and hearts transformed. It is good that we meet the needs of those we know in the church, it is even more powerful to look after those who have not known the power of Christ’s great salvation.
I wish I had the vitality to go out and serve. I can pray. With this I am taking the prayer chair up a notch. I am adding another day! I expect the evil one to seek to prevent me from doing this, so please pray for me.
THE PRAYER CHAIR IS OPEN! Send me your requests!