I must confess, I don’t post as often as I used to because I feel inadequate, in so many ways, to write about God. I have accidentally upset some people I’ve communicated with online. I feel so bad about that, that I have let those feelings hinder me. It’s all about me, me, me. One time, a woman posted a picture of the construction of her new driveway. I noticed it was going to be circular with greenery in the center and wrote, “Oh, how elegant!” Well, in the picture there was mud and a bulldozer. I guess she thought I was being snide. I just meant the driveway would be elegant. There were a few incidents like this, because I don’t think things through. One of the horrible thoughts of my mind is me hurting someone’s feelings; and here I was doing it.
Well, I know Satan wants to discourage me from writing online. I must pray more about this. I must not let him make me look at myself and feel no good. I want to praise God. I want to lift him up and show people how truly wonderful he is. I’m so grateful to him for all the good he does in the world and in my family. I know we mostly read news about the evil that goes on in the world; but there is also so much good done every day by people who love people. I like what Joyce Meyer says about that, “Trust the Lord and do good.” Don’t be discouraged by evil – dwell on what’s good.
For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
so great is His loving devotion for those who fear Him.
As far as the east is from the west,
so far has He removed our transgressions from us.
As a father has compassion on his children,
so the LORD has compassion on those who fear Him.
For He knows our frame;
He is mindful that we are dust.
Blessed are the merciful. They shall obtain mercy.
Today, I read this meditation about God’s mercy. I thought it was beautiful. It was written by, Lloyd John Ogilvie, in God’s Best for My Life.
“This beatitude (Matt. 5:7) gives us another quality of family likeness we can have with God. He is merciful and wants to reproduce that crucial aspect of his nature in us. We are truly happy – blessed – when we are receiving his mercy and are communicating it to others. When we have felt God’s mercy in our failures and needs, we become merciful to others in their inadequacies and mistakes. Christ is God’s mercy incarnate. As he lives his life in us, our minds are captured by his amazing grace, our emotions are infused by tender love, and our wills are liberated to do whatever people need to feel loved again.
Mercy is profound identification. The Hebrew word implies living in another person’s skin, to feel, know, and experience what he or she is going through: empathy, sensitivity. The outer manifestation of our inner experience of God’s mercy is a graciousness which offers understanding, gives others another chance, and freely forgives. The qualification for receiving the continuous flow of God’s mercy is to give out what he has put in.
Psalm 103 has been a charge and charter for me in attempts to live this beatitude. The steadfast love of the Lord endures forever. Nothing can change it. Note all the things that quality of mercy overcomes. That gives us assurance and courage, strength and endurance. Reread the psalm as a prayer from your own heart as your expression of gratitude for mercy and as a commitment to be merciful. Now turn to Lamentations 3:19-26 and read again the good news that the mercy of the Lord never comes to an end; it never ceases; it is fresh every morning and all through the day, all because of the faithfulness of God. Blessedness is receiving and reproducing mercy.”
It isn’t always easy to show mercy and forgiveness. I remember when all the audio equipment was stolen from a church I attended. The pastor was very angry when he went up front to preach and promised to repay the ones who did the stealing.
In the 1940s, my mother and father took a homeless man into their home and got him a job. They came home from church one day and he was gone, along with my father’s best coat and a camera his brother had gotten him in Japan.
These are the kind of things God wants us to forgive and be merciful about. It isn’t easy. The only way to do it is to pray until our feelings match our knowledge of what God wants. Be determined; know that it is not only for their good, but for ours.