Thursday, November 19, 2009

The Do-Over Button of Mercy.

But You, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in mercy and loving-kindness and truth. Ps. 86:15

If you could go back and change one thing, what would it be? Many who are asked this question say, "Nothing. I have learned from all I have gone through." I am NOT one of those people. I most certainly agree that I have learned from my mistakes. Yet, if given the chance to change one thing, my only delay would be in selecting just one from my mile long list of things I wish I had not done or said, and an even longer list of things I wish I had done or said.

If I could have a do over, I would absolutly take it! But, God doesn't give us a do over button. Instead, he gives us His forgiveness, grace and mercy, and the promise that He will work all things together for good for those who trust in Him. He is able to take any mistake, any mess, and turn it into something beautiful that brings Him glory.

For me, this year has been a year of learning to trust in Him. A year of learning to allow God to be my hero and defender, even when I feel I don't deserve it. A year of learning to humble myself and ask God to clean up the messes I made that are bigger than me. But the biggest lesson I have learned this year is mercy. I have learned (am still learning) what mercy is and what it means to receive it.

In a recent sermon, my Dad defined the difference between grace and mercy. Mercy deals with the consequences. Oh, thank goodness for His mercy! Thank goodness that He is big enough to handle the consequences of my wrongs, and in His mercy shields me from them.

Lord, thank You. Thank You for Your forgiveness. Thank You for Your grace. Thank You for Your provision. Thank You for Your protection. You have protected myself and my family from the consequences of my sin, and You have show me mercy. Thank You for Your Mercies. Thank You for mercy that endures forever, and is new every morning.

I have always loved Ps. 91, but this year, as I have learned more about trusting Him and His mercy, it has become real and life changing. Especially verse 8.

1HE WHO [a]dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall remain stable and fixed under the shadow of the Almighty [Whose power no foe can withstand].
2I will say of the Lord, He is my Refuge and my Fortress, my God; on Him I lean and rely, and in Him I [confidently] trust!
3For [then] He will deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the deadly pestilence.
4[Then] He will cover you with His pinions, and under His wings shall you trust and find refuge; His truth and His faithfulness are a shield and a buckler.
5You shall not be afraid of the terror of the night, nor of the arrow (the evil plots and slanders of the wicked) that flies by day,
6Nor of the pestilence that stalks in darkness, nor of the destruction and sudden death that surprise and lay waste at noonday.
7A thousand may fall at your side, and ten thousand at your right hand, but it shall not come near you.
8Only a spectator shall you be [yourself inaccessible in the secret place of the Most High] as you witness the reward of the wicked.
9Because you have made the Lord your refuge, and the Most High your dwelling place,(A)
10There shall no evil befall you, nor any plague or calamity come near your tent.
11For He will give His angels [especial] charge over you to accompany and defend and preserve you in all your ways [of obedience and service].
12They shall bear you up on their hands, lest you dash your foot against a stone.(B)
13You shall tread upon the lion and adder; the young lion and the serpent shall you trample underfoot.(C)
14Because he has set his love upon Me, therefore will I deliver him; I will set him on high, because he knows and understands My name [has a personal knowledge of My mercy, love, and kindness--trusts and relies on Me, knowing I will never forsake him, no, never].
15He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him.
16With long life will I satisfy him and show him My salvation.

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