Ever been completely at the mercy of someone else? Ever felt so much brokenness, shame or heartache in a situation, that you knew you had nothing left, but to give up and allow someone to reach into the dark pit you call home and pull you out? Let me answer that for you. Yes, the answer is yes. How do I know? Because each of us comes to this place at one point or another. The moment we enter this world and sin we are dropped at the foot of the throne of God and our sin- induced shame is written across our face. Mercy. We need mercy in this moment. And when our soul is so downcast with anxiety, fear, and hurt that we feel breathless, God’s mercy is our hope.
I felt this breathlessness this past week. Something happened that hurt me so deeply that the breath in my lungs seemed to vanish. The only thing I could do was to shed tears and look to my creator for mercy that He alone can provide. I won’t pretty it up for you. I felt anger- towards others, towards myself, towards God even. I’m not proud of it, but it’s the truth. I told God what I felt and immediately he reminded me of a story about my mom.
I won’t tell her story because it is truly a tragedy and something everyone does not need to know. It’s her story. The thing that got me though was that her sister came to her in this devastating time and prayed Psalm 103 over her. My mother responded in anger and hurt. If you know my mom, you know she loved God’s word and this was very uncharacteristic of her response to scripture. It’s just that her pain was so deep she MUST have felt that breathlessness I mentioned before. She must have felt the need for mercy, but could not accept it because her situation devastated her in that moment.
Well, God brought this part of the story to mind as I sat broken and angry before Him and I knew that I needed to read aloud Psalm 103.
Wow! What a challenge it was to read it aloud. This is a little summary of how it went. Que uncontrollable sobbing.
Bless the Lord O my soul and ALL that is within me. (Verse 1)
All? Really God? What is left in this moment but heartache?
“Bless the Lord O my soul and FORGET NOT HIS BENEFITS” (verse 2)
Ok, yes God has done so much for me. Even in my hurt He’s not left me alone. But, still I am angry and this is just not fair!
“Who forgives all your iniquities, who heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from destruction, who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies, who satisfies your mouth with good things so that your youth is renewed like eagles wings.” (verses 3-5)
Oh, and how he saved me from my sin! He erased it! It’s all gone! And oh yeah, how he has turned my ashes into beauty! Oh yes, there is goodness and joy in knowing God! How tender and gracious my God is! I am at His mercy! Thank you Lord that I am at YOUR mercy and not this world’s!
It is incredible how God’s word can bring hope. I still feel the sting from the situation I am in and I still don’t understand some of the struggles I’ve been through in my short life. But, I choose to be fully surrendered to God’s mercy because this world and this life just can’t match up to his goodness!
So this is my prayer and I hope you will say it aloud if you are in need of mercy.
Lord, I am fully at your mercy. Thank you for your grace and salvation poured out for me. I trust that only you can heal my woundedness. Only you can bring joy in the midst of pain. Only your mercy can cover my sin and anger. Help me to walk in that truth today and free me from my shame. Amen.