Thursday, February 17, 2011

Tangible Mercy!

"Surely goodness and mercy will follow me
all the days of my life..."
Psalm 23:6

Yesterday morning, I sent an email to our Gather and Grow Bible Study Group as we prepare to gather together this Friday evening for our monthly study.  I closed the email with a heartfelt prayer for the gals in the study:    "May His goodness, mercy and grace tangibly follow you today!"  While that prayer was sincerely for the Gather and Grow sisters, it was also for me.  I needed His goodness, mercy and grace to follow me around and pursue me TANGIBLY yesterday.   

When I wrote that prayer for all of us, I didn't know in what ways God would answer it for each of us individually, but I knew His Spirit was leading me to pray that specifically.  Personally, I needed His goodness and mercy to escort me throughout my day.  My heart was in a painful place.  I needed His grace to wash over and protect my heart.

Well, listen to how He answered that prayer for me.  My jaw is still dropped.

The cherubs and I were on another visit to Joshua's orthodontist's office yesterday afternoon.  We've met just about every single receptionist, medical assistant, orthodontic technician and doctor in the office. Yesterday, however, we met a new one.  We had never seen her before.

She greeted us in the waiting room, escorted us to the appropriate place and ushered us through a somewhat painful procedure for Joshua.  

What was her name?


Mercy I tell you!  She introduced herself, "Hi, I am Mercy and I will be assisting you today."  Her name was stitched in calligraphy right on her shirt:  MERCY.

Tangible Mercy.  I could embrace Mercy.  Mercy was assisting us. 

Now, I've heard beautiful names like "Grace" and "Faith", but I don't recall ever hearing of someone named "Mercy". A-MA-ZING! I could barely string two words together because I was overcome by His goodness, but I shared Psalm 23:6 with Mercy and told her this was my prayer for our Gather and Grow group that morning.  "Mercy, you are an answer to prayer today."  She smiled and blushed.  I pray somehow this all ministered His love to her heart like it was ministering to mine!

Mercy greeted us while we waited. Mercy escorted us to the right place. Mercy ushered us through a painful process.

He is my Hope, my Redeemer.  His goodness and mercy are following me tangibly.  I am sweetly hushed and humbled by His perfect love and provision in having Mercy be a personal, tangible assistant.

I think Mercy followed me home from the office.  I hear her knocking at the door of my heart.  Mercy, come on in! 

Thank you, Lord, for your tangible Mercy.

"Then they cried out to the LORD in their trouble, and He brought them out of their distress. He stilled the storm to a whisper; the waves of the sea were hushed. They were glad when it grew calm, and He guided them to their desired haven. Let them give thanks to the LORD for His unfailing love and
His wonderful deeds for men." 
Psalm 107:28-31

"Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and from Jesus Christ, the Father’s Son, will be with us in truth and love."
2 John 1:3 

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Treasure Verse Tuesday - Proverbs 22:11

"He who loves a pure heart
and whose speech is gracious
will have the king for his friend."
Proverbs 22:11

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

My Husband Is My Brother In Christ

"You have stolen my heart, my sister, my bride;
you have stolen my heart..."
Song of Solomon 4:9

It's "Love Month" ~ February.  This year, Jim and I will be married 19 years.  I am still learning every single day.  Thank you, Lord.  Please, if you are the commenting type, share something God is teaching you!!

One thing the Lord impressed upon my heart early in our marriage was to always remember that my husband was and is my brother in Christ first. Jim and I are God's children first. God then brought us together beautifully as husband and wife.  This is one amazing aspect of Christian marriage that keeps me grounded in Him.

This true perspective of our relationships with God and each other brings an immediate reverence for God and for my husband. If I look at him only as "my husband", my fleshy self can become entitled and self-righteous. Tapping my toe with hands on hips, I could begin to make selfish demands, spoken and unspoken. This is damaging. My husband is the head of our home.  I genuinely love and respect my husband deeply, yet my sin nature can be destructive if my heart is not yielded to the Holy Spirit. I want to be the wise woman who builds her house, not the foolish one who tears it down with her own hands. "The wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down." (Proverbs 14:1 NIV)

When my heart is aligned with God's Word, I am humbled and thankful acknowledging that Jim is my precious brother in Christ. Self-righteous entitlement falls away. I am more gracious, more merciful and readily able to speak the truth in love as Jim's wife, seeing him as God's son, my brother and my husband. I serve him with joy. My toes stop tapping and my hands go from being on my hips to humble hands outstretched to God.

When Jim is loving me as God's daughter, his sister in the Lord and his wife, his words are more gentle, he is able to compassionately point me to Jesus when I falter, and he more readily loves me as Christ loves the church.  I am his sister, his bride.  I love that.

Being brother and sister in Christ is a unique, beautiful and solid foundation in a Christian marriage. As I desire to honor God with my marriage, I want to always remember that my spouse is my sibling in Christ first.  As I serve him as unto the Lord, God bring beautiful blessings, fruit and growth.

"How delightful is your love, my sister, my bride!"
Song of Solomon 4:10