You may want to take a step back from your computer if you dare to read this. There's no telling what may happen if you venture forth.
It was one of those mornings, actually one of those weeks, where being a woman got the best of me, hampering my sleep, bringing out the growly in me. No doubt Satan took advantage and started pointing out all the injustices in my life, all the stuff I do that fills my time, that leave me wondering if it's worth it. He suggested it didn't matter and no one cares and why in the world do you kill yourself doing it and what's in it for you?
I had to go to Bible study and thought it would be good for me anyway, but my heart was not in it. Every verse made me wonder why God makes it hard on us here, why He asks so much of us sometimes. Why teach us hard lessons and give us relationships only to tear them away later? Why is He cryptic, forcing me to feel like a toddler wandering in the dark?
Then someone mentioned the ark of the covenant and how the Law was housed in the ark, the mercy seat sat on top and the presence of God rested in the mercy seat.
"Whoa, isn't that wonderful?" she said, "What rests between God's Law and His presence? His mercy!"
Tears filled my eyes. I couldn't see God's mercy.
(Here is the part you may want to scootch back to avoid the lightning strike.)
Every time I think I'm going to get a break in life, a chance to do things I want to do, God says, "Okay, now I want you to do this." I understand to whom much is given, much is required and most of the time I'm okay with that, but that day I longed for God's mercy, for time that wasn't full, for a getaway with my husband and nobody needing anything from me.
I wanted mercy and didn't feel it. All I had swimming in my head was my inability to do anything worthy of Him, my limitations, my failures, my selfishness, the repulsive attitude residing in my spirit, that sickened me, but wouldn't let me go.
"God, can I have a little mercy?" I asked, "Can you save me from myself?"
I kept pushing on, because that's all you can do on those days. Everything may be a struggle, but nothing is gained by closing yourself off to wallow in misery alone. I just kept doing the next thing, doing what was before me and got through it. Once I had some quiet time to myself and reflected on the day, I realized His mercy followed me everywhere.
It was all around me in having to go to Bible study and buck up a little instead of sit at home feeling sorry for myself, in hugs that squeezed the stuffing out of me and whispers in my ear asking what my deal was, in an impromptu lunch with a friend I'd wanted to get together with for months, in a chance to get all the ugly feelings out at a friend's house and still be loved, in basking in the sunshine and a special fizzy drink I could feel good about ingesting, in a sweet email from a dear woman, in half an hour of quiet on the couch nestled with my sweet husband, in a family who didn't mind leftovers for dinner, in direction for an upcoming speech and ice cream at the end of the day.
God's mercy was there, even when I didn't feel it, even when my putrid attitude didn't deserve it.
Truly God is good and patient and kind.
It would be tempting to feel ashamed of myself, and if I'm honest I must say I do, but it's necessary to push those feelings aside too for God has already forgiven and forgotten. Instead I choose to thank Him for His mercy now.
I remember my affliction and my wandering, the bitterness and the gall. I well remember them, and my soul is downcast within me. Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: Because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.
Thank You, Lord for showing me mercy.
How has God shown you mercy this week?
To read more Thankful Thursday posts, visit Laurie at Women Taking a Stand.
Photo Credit: lovestruck.