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Friday, April 1, 2011

God's Mercy

God’s love and mercy is so boundless to us all. Regardless of what I do, I’m so thankful God never gives up on me. While I love to speak about how good God is to me, I very seldom tell of the times when I’m reproved by God. However, it’s during those times when I realize just how merciful God is to me and when He proves His love to me.
I take so much for granted. Honestly, I don’t even know how blessed I am until God shows me. It’s then I realize just how small I am and how big my God is. Even though I love God with all of my heart and I know He loves me more than I can even imagine, I fear Him—greatly.
God holds my life in His hands. He decides whether or not I’m able to draw my next breath. There is nothing I can hide from my God. In the judgment of my life, I’m alone. It’s just me and God. My family and friends can’t even help me or pray for me, unless God gives them the prayer to pray. He controls it all.
I’ve been there before, in the midst of my own misery. I’ve begged God to help me and He ignored me. Much like the times I ignored Him and that tug in my heart to do His will. He definitely showed me, without a shadow of doubt, I can’t do wrong and get by with it, nor can I refuse to do something He has commanded me to do. I may decide to do things the hard way, and go the long, painful way around, but I will do whatever it is that He wants me to do. And He can even make me so miserable that I’ll not only come willing to do whatever it is, but I’ll gladly do it. But the thing is, when we turn away from God and refuse to do His work, we can’t just decide then to do it when things get tough. God decides when our suffering is over. Sometimes He gives us some time to think about it.
When God gave me the gift to write I was afraid. Especially, when I sat down and the words flowed out of me, my heart burned within me, and my hands trembled. When I would read back my words, it terrified me because they weren’t really my words at all. Sometimes I would even write things I didn’t understand. Sometimes I had to write things about my life I didn’t want to think about, not to mention write down on paper for others to read. So I would freeze up and block the words. With tears flowing from my eyes, I would beg God not to make me write it.
God gave me some time to wallow with it. He listened to my excuses every single day as to why I couldn’t do the job He gave me to do. He listened as I cried in self-pity and tried to justify not doing His work. He was patient with me, when I proclaimed over and over this job was too big for me. Even though He didn’t agree with my excuses and knew I was only trying to find a way out of it—He still had mercy on me. In fact, He gave me the very breath I used to deny Him. He woke me up every morning knowing I wouldn’t do anything for Him that day. And just when I thought that maybe God had forgotten about my job or decided I didn’t have to do it, He showed me He was in control.
A few years ago, I got really sick. All I could do was lie in the bed and whine. I couldn’t eat, couldn’t sleep, and could barely breathe. I ached all over and thought I was going to die. My husband took me to the doctor and they sent me back home without helping me at all.
My suffering intensified and I begged God to help me. But it was as if He couldn’t even hear my pleas. I had no comfort—only pain and suffering.
It wasn’t like I had told God—I’m not writing that book and you can’t make me. It was just that I didn’t ever make time to do it. The first time it got a little hard I would run away or block the words He was giving me. Whenever I felt that little tug in my heart, letting me know it was time to write, I always had an excuse or found something else to do.
He showed me that if I wouldn’t do His work, then He wouldn’t allow me to work at all. When I came willing in my heart, to write the book He commanded me to write, He rocked me to sleep and eased my pain.
I can tell you this I wouldn’t have willingly wrote that book for a million dollars, but when God speaks it’s with power and authority. The best part is that He didn’t just give me a job to do and expect me to do it on my own, but He helped me. He knew I wasn’t capable of doing it on my own; He never expected me to. All He wanted from me was my obedience. That is all I am capable of anyway.
I believe with God’s gifts there is responsibility. When He gives me the words to write, it is my job to write them and share them according to His will. He has a purpose for everything He does.
When I think about it, I realize God could have removed my gift to write His words. He could have taken away everything special He had planned for me. Instead, He was so merciful to me. I’m learning not to confuse God’s mercy with His approval. Just because He doesn’t punish me, right away for something I’ve done wrong, doesn’t mean it is okay for me to continue to do it. Maybe He’s giving me time to do the right thing and ask for His forgiveness and guidance. If I ignore that still small voice that pleads with me to do what is right, then I force God to show me that He is God and there is none other.
It’s too late to change it after it’s already happened. I’ve learned that the hard way. This is just one small example about how God got my attention. There have many other times in my life, when I needed to pray right then; when I didn’t have a second to spare. And I can tell you it’s an awful feeling to watch someone you love suffer and not be able to pray for them. I’ve been there, where I thought someone I love was dying and I had to pray for myself because my sins and iniquities stood between me and God. It’s a terrible feeling to call to God and not be heard. It’s a terrible feeling to not be able to feel the Spirit of the Lord or His boundless love.
While we chose not to obedient, we don’t get to choose our punishment. Please, think about all of the beautiful things God has given you to brighten your life; is there one you can give up? The one thing you love the most could be the cost for your disobedience.


Roddie said...

While it's true that every man must prove his own work and serve the Lord for himself; we are also individual members of the body of Christ and we must work in harmony with the rest of the members of the body. While we must carry our own burdens the Bible also teaches us to carry one another's burdens. God gives each member a specific job to do that no one else can do, but I can't do my job without the help of the Lord and the prayers and backing of the church.

I'm reminded of when Nehemiah set the workers on the wall; he set the people after their families with weapons to stand guard while the workers worked, because of their enemies. So the half of them wrought in the work and the other half stood guard, and the rulers were behind the whole house of Judah. He also had one to sound the trumpet when there was any trouble, and the rulers and nobles and the rest of the people were to come to them when the trumpet sounded and the Lord would fight for them. I see the rulers and nobles as the elders of the church and the one that sounds the trumpet as the pastor or preacher. If everyone is obedient and follow the Lord in unity and love, God's work will get done and the church will prosper. The devil wants to hinder this.

It's hard to follow the Lord sometimes and the devil can cause a lot of confusion and he's very good at deceiving people. The worst thing we can do is let him separate us from the body. We have to try the spirits and see if they be of God. God's Spirit will always be a spirit of love. Sometimes we have to just stand still and let God move.

I am glad that God is merciful and helps me when I make mistakes. He's knows when we make an honest effort and he will pick us up when we fall. Sometimes God has to reprove us because of disobedience and sometimes He has to let us fall to teach us a lesson. If we fail to heed the warnings that God sends us and we fall that way, it can be a long, hard road of recovery paved with many tears, but God will never leave us or forsake us. I don't want to see anyone have to go through that. No one can pay for my mistakes but me and I'm glad God didn't give up on me. I'm nothing without Him.

Thanks for the thought.

Candida Sullivan said...

That's so true, Roddie. We need each other so much! Great thoughts! Thanks for sharing them.

Roddie said...

I know the church could make it without me, but I can't make it without the church. I'm so glad He saved me by His grace and I'm going home with the church.

Author shares message through Zippy the zebra