We live in a merciless society.
That’s never been more evident in our world today. That’s not to say that we should excuse wrongdoing, but it’s pretty fair to assert that our lives and personal interactions could use a healthier dose of mercy (and grace). A little less than a year ago, I heard Mercy somewhere (probably Pandora), and since then, I’ve been listening to and pondering the words almost non-stop. Maybe the unusual tune drew me in at first, but what really made me stop and listen was the utter truth and power behind the words. The truth that the Lord’s been impressing on my heart through this song keeps resonating within me each day as heart-wrenching events around the world unfold without signs of stopping. I truly hope and pray that sharing all that God’s been showing me about His character, who He is as a merciful Father, and how to both graciously receive His mercy and show His mercy to others blesses you as much as it has blessed me.
My past embraced, my sin forgiven
I’m blameless in Your sight, my history rewritten
I could repeat this first part of the song over and over and over (and I have!). These four phrases overwhelm me in the best way. For starters, how awesome is it that God embraces our pasts? It seems like the simplest thing, but He doesn’t just accept them, He embraces them. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, embrace means “to accept something willingly and enthusiastically.” When we come to life in Christ, He embraces it all – our pasts, presents, and futures. It’s not begrudgingly, or out of obligation; He’s enthusiastic about us becoming His! He joyfully accepts our pasts as part of our journeys of growth, rather than disregarding them as something shameful to sweep under the rug. That action of lovingly embracing all that I am blows me away. It comforts me like that warm, fuzzy feeling one gets from running into a parent’s wide open arms when coming home to know that God sees all of me, and that no matter what, it doesn’t change how much He just wants me as His. Continue reading
Goodness, time flies – it’s already the last day of February, and a week since I turned 23 (I got to celebrate with my friends for most of the week, which was quite spectacular!). As a small end-of-February celebration, I thought that I’d share some music that I’ve been listening to as my bread and butter for the past month, a song that I’m sure will encourage and refresh anyone who hears, as much as it did me. I don’t remember how I came across it (probably on Pandora – that app seriously gets it right sometimes), but it was close to the end of January, and I remember stopping whatever I was doing to listen to the words of this song. The words gripped me, not only because of their simplicity, but because of the power and absolute truth behind them. They’re written as if straight from God’s heart to ours, and it’s just overwhelmingly beautiful to me. Continue reading
You unravel me, with a melody
You surround me with a song
Of deliverance, from my enemies
Till all my fears are gone
My sister emailed my family this song a few weeks ago, but I didn’t get around to listening to it until now while (finally!) reading emails. Turns out, it’s the perfect message for this mid-semester morning.
It can be so easy to dart our eyes around quickly and stumble into listening to the world’s message on every front in life, especially during stressful times. The common lies that we choose to hear and believe are sometimes shocking. Concerning school: “You should be scared. That exam is going to be so difficult. And you definitely didn’t study correctly for it. Plus, you’re not even smart enough to be doing this.” Concerning relationships: “You never do anything “fun.” Fun friends do this. Why can’t you just shut up and join the crowd for once?” Concerning identity: “You’re not unique in any way. You are not special. You’re just like everyone else.” Concerning ability: “You don’t have any talent whatsoever. People are probably laughing at you behind your back.” Concerning practically everything else: “You should be worried. You should be hesitant. You should be filled with fear. Good luck getting through this.” That’s why the constant refrain of this song couldn’t be any more powerful or true:
I’m no longer a slave to fear
I am a child of God. Continue reading