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 →
Faithfulness. That’s the word that I would use to most accurately sum up my 2013. Every single experience I’ve had this year, whether a high or low, has been especially memorable as I think back on many of them because I’ve realised that God’s mercies – or in other words, His constant faithfulness – have been increasingly abundant in my life this past year. He hasn’t been more or less faithful than before, but I think I’ve grown to appreciate the simple things in my life that truly capitalize on His daily faithfulness. I could reflect on the “big” things in my life – like finding a job after graduation for my gap year – or the “small” things – like the fall afternoon where the rain in the sky miraculously held off from pouring down until seconds after I returned home from running – but either way, His faithfulness shines through. I can’t think of one encounter I’ve had this year where God’s immense faithfulness hasn’t been at work in my life, and it makes me so incredibly excited to continue to do life with Him guiding me in the new year.
This song, Great is Your Mercy, is taking it old school (I seriously adore the fact that it’s 10 minutes long…if you know me, you know I love abnormally-long songs) – it’s one of those classic church songs where the same sentiments are sung repeatedly by different people. But the way each person articulates the same message is profound in my eyes. I can almost feel how greatly each person has experienced God’s faithfulness in their own personal, varying situations through the way they express each word in song. That’s how God’s faithfulness is as well. We each experience it, whether knowingly or not, and it impacts us in different ways based on where we are in life. The difference comes with how we respond to it. I’ve seen myself be completely ignorant of how faithful God has been in certain past situations, because my eyes have been focused on circumstances, rather than above. I pray that in the new year, I can continue to respond to God’s faithfulness just as the people above vocalising “Great is Your mercy towards me” have: with fresh eyes and a humble, grateful heart.
Happy New Year! 2014 is sure to be a spectacular adventure.