The beauty of his mercy

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By Betty Slade

Have you ever felt helpless and vulnerable before those who don’t have your best interest? I have. It’s a horrible feeling. I’ve said to God many times, “You promised to fight for me. They’re going to eat me alive.”

That’s where we learn mercy. It’s not always pretty, but there is someone we can trust. Someone that can even save us from ourselves.

How easy it is to worry instead of trusting God’s mercy to deliver us. It feels like we are doing something totally against every fiber in our body.

David the Psalmist wrote, “He makes me lie down … and he prepares a table before me in the presence of my enemies.” 

What was he saying? Feast while I sit in the company of someone who is coming after me? Isn’t that just giving ourselves over to our enemy?

I had to deal with someone recently that made me feel like I had laid down all my rights and given far more of me than the circumstances were worth. I felt like Gideon when God told him to send 32,000 soldiers home but keep 300 for himself. God told him he would win the battle with a pitcher, a torch and a shout. The sword of Gideon and God would win the battle. There was not a sword in sight, only a promise from God.

Something was very upside down. I wasn’t prepared to fight for what was right. All I could do was to trust God to deliver me from the hands of my enemy.

I asked my Sweet Al what he thought about the situation. He reminded me that God asked the Israelites to circumcise their strong young men before they went to war with the neighboring enemies. Are you kidding me? There was no way they could fight in their condition. But God fought for them mercilessly.

The Holy Spirit nudged me every time I saw her. “Pray mercy and blessings over this person. Every time you want to get mad, bless this person.” No, it wasn’t easy or comforting in any way, but over time, I became released from her grip. I learned to receive mercy for myself, which I desperately needed and give mercy to her. 

I didn’t get my way and the outcome was not in my favor. But I had peace -— something only mercy produces.

My Sweet Al and I have trusted and followed God for many years. It hasn’t always made sense, but God has always delivered us from any battlefront. 

How much more greater did Jesus do for us? He won mercy for me at the cross. He trusted his Father as he laid himself down in the presence of his enemies, only to rise triumphantly in the end.

Final brushstroke: At the mercy, control or under the power of someone, only God can equip us to rise above the battlefield. There is always a “rising higher” when we trust him to fight our battles. It’s not about winning the battle; it is being changed in the battle.

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