choosing mercy, extending grace
“For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life.” (Galatians 6:8)
Living in this fallen world, with people broken just as we are? It is difficult. There are days when you wake up feeling more tired than when you went to bed. There are days when you are ready to quit, too exhausted before you have even started the day. There are days when it takes all you have to get out the door and face the world. There are days when you end up being hurt in ways you did not know you could be.
What I want to tell you is, that it is okay to feel that way sometimes.
Us sin-marred people, we tend to get life and circumstances all messy and mixed-up. Us brokenhearted people, we tend to hurt others with these fractured pieces of our hearts. Us confused and lost people, we tend to focus on that dull ache of our own soul and forget others, not seeing the whole picture.
“For their heart was not steadfast with Him, nor were they faithful in His covenant. But He, being full of compassion, forgave their iniquity, and did not destroy them. Yes, many a time He turned His anger away, and did not stir up all His wrath; for He remembered that they were but flesh, a breath that passes away and does not come again.” (Psalm 78:37-39)
But we are not here alone. In Psalm 78, we are reminded how the people of Israel rebelled and sinned against the Lord, how they rejected Him and worshipped idols — over and over again. He brought them out of Egypt; He provided a way to the Promised Land and protected them. And yet, the people still sinned and did not believe in His wondrous works.
God was not indifferent towards this. No, He was angry; in fact, He was furious. But what is more important for us to see, for us to remember. Is that God, being full of compassion, forgave their iniquities. He knew what they were made of, remembered those confused hearts of the sin-stained people. So He was merciful and turned His anger away time and time again.
“And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith.” (Galatians 6:9-10)
So it’s okay to ache when words pierce our souls. It’s okay to cry when we feel overwhelmed, lost, and confused. It’s okay to bury ourself under blankets, to hide from the world when we feel like everything hurts.
It is okay – as long as that is not where we stay. As long as we turn to the One who made us, who sent His only Son to die on the cross and forgive us. Because the only way to make it in the darkness of this world, is to hold to hope. Not just for us but for others, too. We shelter that hope, choosing mercy and extending grace — trusting that the One who made us, can make something good out of these circumstances, too.
“Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us” (Hebrews 12:1)
That waiting season, holding on to hope and choosing grace — is where we grow. We bear fruit with patience, trusting that God is completing the work He has started in us. They are called growing pains for a reason: because it is painful to dig your roots deep into that hard ground.
When we confidently and patiently wait on Him to fight for us, to make a straight way for us, to help us and to carry us. He will come through. He remains faithful when we are faithless; and He will do what He has promised. The situations we are in, the people that surround us, might hurt us. But in due season, we will reap if we do not lose heart.
So this week, what does choosing mercy and extending grace mean to you?
Linking up: Coffee and Conversation, Works for Me Wednesday, Wednesday’s Prayer Girls, Tell His Story, A Little R & R, WholeHearted Wednesday, Women With Intention, Word Filled Wednesday, Coffee for Your Heart, Everyday Jesus, Growing in Grace, Shine Blog Hop, Grace at Home, Faith and Fellowship, Grace & Truth, Fellowship Friday, Good Morning Mondays, Monday’s Musings