My Journey to Joy

April 4, 2013

Mercy

Filed under: Contemplations — aunthoddy @ 5:00 AM
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

“therefore the LORD God sent him out from the garden of Eden to till the ground from which he had been taken.  And He drove out the man. And He placed cherubs at the east of the garden of Eden, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to guard the way to the tree of life.”  Genesis 3:23-24

This has always seemed like such a sad verse to me.  Getting “kicked out” of the Garden of Eden seemed a severe punishment.  But read verse 22:

” And the LORD God said, Behold, the man has become as one of Us, to know good and evil. And now, lest he put forth his hand and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever…”

Now imagine…you had been created with a perfect body, and lived your entire life in a perfect place.  Because of your choice to disobey, all of that perfection has changed.  Do you really want to stay around and watch the decay?  Do you want to live forever, seeing the far-reaching consequences of your sin?  Was this expulsion truly a mercy, from a protective Father?  Things are not always as they seem…*

“God never witholds from His child that which His love and wisdom call good. God’s refusals are always merciful — “severe mercies” at times but mercies all the same. God never denies us our hearts desire except to give us something better.”― Elisabeth Elliot

When we were told we were infertile, I was utterly devastated.  I struggled for months (years?), crying and asking God “why?”.  If someone had told me that our infertility was a blessing or a mercy, I’m sure I would have been grossly offended.  It was so very hard.  So very painful.  It seemed so “unfair.”  I couldn’t imagine the plan that God had for our family.  In the midst of my hurt, I couldn’t see the work that God was doing- changing my heart…teaching me to rely on Him…forging stronger bonds in my marriage…showing me the great love and support of dear friends…and preparing our family for our son at just the right time.  It was His mercy to me.

“Who would ever know the greater graces of comfort and perserverance, mercy and forgiveness, patience and courage, if no shadows fell over a life?”  Ann Voskamp

A friend of mine is a quadriplegic.  He’s been in a wheelchair since he was 17 years old; he’s now in his late 50’s.  We were talking about how God works in our lives, and he said that his accident is what God used to get his attention.  He said God knew that is what it would take, and that he was grateful.  He found Jesus in a rehab hospital… and it was God’s mercy.

“This paralysis is my greatest mercy.” ―Joni Eareckson Tada

God is changing my vision.  Trials take on a different hue when I truly believe “…that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”  Romans 8:28  I don’t often have the answers or know the reasons, but I’m looking.  And trusting.  And clinging to what I know to be true of God’s character, when things don’t make sense to me.

Let us fall into the hands of the LORD, for his mercy is great;  2 Samuel 24:14

What if my greatest disappointments or the aching of this life
Is the revealing of a greater thirst this world can’t satisfy
What if trials of this life
The rain, the storms, the hardest nights
Are your mercies in disguise
Laura Story, “Blessings”
*I’d love to give credit, but I can’t remember where I read this idea!
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