Mercy leads to a grateful heart.
Sometimes you read another person's words and realize they are speaking your heart. I changed my Facebook cover picture last Thursday and the quote was perfect. "A noble heart is a thankful heart which loves to acknowledge whenever it has received any mercy." (Jeremiah Burroughs) I found the words to express how I was feeling for I knew without a doubt it was mercy I received that day.
Seven months ago my oldest was deployed to the desert. I don't know all the details about his days, but I knew it was dangerous and you hear the stories all the time. Someone's son or daughter, wife or husband, mother or father doesn't return from their deployment. It happens.
And so for seven months I lived with that fact and prayed for mercy. No different than so many other mothers; our hearts cry out to the Lord asking for our child to come home safe and sound.
This is also when I beg for the faith of Shadrach, Meeshack, and Abednego. May I know that my God is good regardless of what the outcome is. May I trust my God with it all even if the fire burns. But I am frail and weak and only God's strength got me through the last few months. Those closest to me know the anxiety built. I was shadowed by the truth like Eeyore's cloud.
But last Thursday I received the mercy for which I prayed when I received the perfect picture of my oldest and his loving wife, together.
Hard times are just that, hard times. Good and bad happen to everyone, and we move through this life wondering how we are going to get through the next day sometimes. Whether it is the anxiety of "what if" or the reality of the unthinkable, the only thing that can get us through is God's presence and love. It's what picked me up after I fell each time. Being able to return to Him in his Word, in prayer, and in tears helped me move through the hardest moments into clarity and peace.
I can say with all authority, when I was weak, He was strong. He was my shelter and my stronghold. And I am grateful for the mercy I received.