Someone said: Grace is getting what we don’t deserve and mercy is not getting what we do deserve!” And I think that sums it up pretty well. We talk a lot about grace and most of us seem to be pretty good at sharing it, at least with people that we like?!?
Mercy is often a little bit more of a challenge. I don’t think it’s because we don’t need it or because we have not receieved it. I think it’s probably because we don’t want to admit to ourselves or others that we need it, but we do need it and in a more desperate way than we might imagine.
The fact that we are sitting here, reading these words is a testimony to the reality that God gives us mercy, because everyone of us should have been taken off of the board a long time ago, but God, Who is rich in mercy, loves us and had seen fit to forgive us and give us space and grace to grow into what He knows we can be.
If we will be honest with ourselves, we can look back on our lives and see time after time where we have made mistakes, missed the mark, not measured up, just flat blown it, but God is loving, patient, kind, gracious and merciful. Look back – can you see it? It’s beautiful, when you actually take the time to look back and aprreciate it.
“Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?” Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.” -Matthew 18:21-22
Now if God shows us mercy for our mistakes/sins/failures and allows us to begin again, then we should do the very same thing for one another. God’s gifts of love, grace, mercy, forgiveness and restoration are woven into the tapesty of the Universe for all of us to receive and share.
Be sure to take all of the good things that God has given you and share them with others and one of the greatest ways to do that is by not giving people the wrath, judgment and condemnation we think they might deserve, but instead the gifts of love, grace and mercy. Now that is a beautiful gift that keeps on giving…
In a lot of different ways, we are living in very dark times. People are scared, worried and frustrated. And the big temptation is to curse the darkness, but what good will that do? Cursing the darkness only breeds more negativity. Instead of cursing the darkness, maybe we should go running right into the middle of it? Why??? Because in the middle of the darkness, it is much easier to see the light and this is the very place that our tansformation begins to take place.
Think about the dark times of your life: You thought they were going to kill you, that you were not going to make it through, but you are still here, fighting the good fight. The reason why you are still here is because what you thought might be the end, was really the beginning of your transformation and growth into something more and better.
When we find ourselves in that deep, dark hole that we think there is no way out of, when the blows of life have knocked us flat on our backs and when it seems that all hope is lost, it is then that the miracle takes place. In the very midst of the darkness, which we hate so much, we begin to see a glimmer of light, we feel the encouragement of hope, which promises that this thing called life is not over just yet.
“The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” -John 1:5
When we come face to face with the limits of what we can’t do, it is at this place that we begin to discover what God can do, will do and has done. The darkness is necessary to help us really appreciate and be grateful for the light. As we move from darkness to light, we make the amazing discovery that we are more than just flesh, we are SPIRIT, which makes us so much more than anything we will ever face.
When you find yourself in the dark, do not focus on the darkness, instead, begin to look for the light and in the process discover the amazing gift of transformation, growth, life in the Spirit and all that comes with it…