Mercy has been one of the fruits of the Spirit that I have struggled with. As a person with a "D" personality I am a "doer". I tend to be very black and white and therefore judgmental. From my often difficult life experiences of being homeless, destitute and then by God's grace rising from ashes to self-sufficiency (at least financially), I often wonder why people choose to suffer.
I have learned that in my weakness God's strength is made perfect and is poured into me giving me grace--ability to do what I could not and His favor which opens doors and causes all things to work for my good and His glory. He redeems my life. Both the successes and the failures. I have seen the Lord's mercy at work in my life and my heart. Rather than condemning me for my mistakes, He applies the Blood of His Son Jesus to me as I fall upon the Rock in a broken heap and puddle of tears, acknowledging my need for His Salvation and intervention in the form of redemption.
I often share stories with exactly that theme with believers and unbelievers alike, to build their faith and point them to God. Yet, as I meet beggars on the street, I look in their eyes and see their choice to reject God--it deeply saddens me--I feel no compassion for their situation, only for their choice. And an anger rises within me that I have trouble identifying. When I see the consequences of sin in people's life without repentance, again I feel the same. And I wonder, How does God look upon the poor, hurting people lost in sin, groveling in their penthouse offices and in the filthy gutters in the street?
I used to think I didn't have mercy, or but a tiny seed that I don't seem to know how to grow. My words can be harshest with those whom I am closest to. Like Jesus' words to the Pharisees compared to his compassion on the masses who followed him, although often just to experience their miracle or receive a loaf of bread. The scriptures say, "He healed them all." (Matthew 12:15, Luke 4:40)
There is no question--God is merciful. This is repeated again and again in the scriptures--Old and New Covenants. Just like God is Love, God is Mercy. His mercies are sufficient for each day and each occasion that arises--to us, sometimes unexpectedly. His mercies are in fact new every morning (Lamentations 3:23-24). In Hebrew the word is chesed (pronounced kheh-sed). It is translated in KJV as loving kindness, goodness, tender mercies, loving kindness. It is found in a noun form and verb form, even someone can be a chesid--translated "holy one" (as in God Himself, Psalm 16:10) or chesidim "saints" (Psalm 145:10). This has penetrated my thinking in a new way.
By my faith in the blood of Jesus, my Lord and Savior, I am a saint of God. Nothing like a Joan of Arc, but God calls me his own, redeemed (purchased) with the price of His blood and made to sit in heavenly places sharing in His inheritance. Wow! I could spend the rest of my life just taking that in. So how do I act and live in this revelation? How do I act like a chesidim, a merciful one, a saint, everyday?
Those who know my life know that 2007 was a year of trials and miracles where God sovereignly brought us through the valley of the shadow of death. (Buy the book to read the details.) During the entire ordeal the Lord hovered over us placing us in a cloud of faith and trust in His faithfulness. I did not actively seek God for those things. My faith did not waiver. I never considered any outcome but the Lord's best. Most amazingly to me, the Lord gave me an ability to operate in mercy toward my husband. I sat with him for hours, doing nothing at all just so that he could know at some level of consciousness that I was there for him--completely there with all my focus on him and his needs. I am not a care giver by nature--these acts were very foreign to me and not motivated by a deep love and devotion to my husband. In fact my emotions were kind of numb during most of that time--I believe as a protection of my soul by that same cloud of God's glory and favor that abode with us.
During 2008, we began the next phase of the trial which we had thought was completed. God is with us, but in a different way. That cloud was removed. It reminds me of the Israelites crossing over into the Promised Land. No more cloud or pillar of fire. No more manna. They had to learn how to apply the Covenant given by Moses which spelled out God's mercy toward them, into everyday life--conquering and then settling the Land. Revelations of God's mercy in my own heart and soul are compelling me to understand His Mercy and His Kingdom in deep and amazing ways. It is a fight to conquer the wicked inhabitants in my heart and utterly destroy them. No battle should be engaged without the Lord's direction and counsel. This takes place over time with mistakes and failures along the way. But if I seek first the Kingdom of God, His will and His way in my life, the victory is promised.
I am understanding that I have in my past refused to accept God's mercy in areas of my life that I somehow was ashamed of and thought were unredeemable. Things that would somehow just pass away when we are translated from this life of clay/flesh to the incorruptible in the heavenly Kingdom of God. I desperately need Him to fill my heart and soul with His mercy. To embrace it fully in order that it can exude from my life just like an anointing and like the supernatural faith that operates in my life because I acknowledge my mustard seed faith placed in a omnipotent, faithful Father God. I desire with my whole heart for God's mercy to flow through me.
I ask for God's mercy and protection of those around me, especially my husband, as the Lord explores and brings to light all the dark places I have hidden in my heart. I admit I scream at times. I feel like I am being tortured as I am having to let go of and acknowledge my inabilities to be merciful-mostly due to my own self-condemnation. There is no good in me. I am selfish, self-seeking and wicked--just as the Bible says (Jeremiah 17:9). Yet once again, by the blood of Jesus, I can come boldly to the throne of grace to find mercy. (Hebrews 4:16) Mercy that will fill and heal the brokenness and pain within me. Mercy that will fill me to overflowing with thanksgiving and understanding of the immense love that God has for us all and the unfathomable price He paid to show it. Mercy that was revealed before the foundation of the world. Mercy available each moment of every day. Mercy that will be revealed more and more as the Day of the Lord approaches at the end of this age. Mercy that is love and salvation to those who will have faith in God and destruction and wrath to those who will not. Mercy that is God in us, to us and through us to the world. (Read more of my blogs at http://ruthmayfield.blogspot.com/ and http://hineni-here-i-am.blogspot.com/ )