Things are going so well, I’m almost afraid to jinx it by writing about it. But, I like to give credit where credit is due, and I think the Lord is going to have to get credit for this one.
Somehow, the Lord touched Chef’s heart a few days ago. He hasn’t really shared any of the details with me, and I don’t think I even want to know. It was a moment between God and Chef, and it belongs exclusively to them. All I do know is that my marriage suddenly became peaceful again. Just like that, in a twinkling of an eye…
And all of this brings me to the subject of mercy. The day before my birthday, I actually went outside and looked up into the stars and asked God for help. Yes, I’ve prayed many times over all the things happening in my life right now, but this was one of the few times I physically tried to look God in the eye and beg for some direction. And His only answer to me at that moment was to be patient.
Patience is not one of my stronger gifts, and after almost a year of this stuff, I wasn’t pleased to hear I’d have to wait even longer. But, He’s God, so it isn’t like He was going to change His plans to accommodate me. I just had to suck it up.
The day of my birthday actually kind of sucked when it came to Chef. Yes, we weren’t engaged in open battle, but it wasn’t one of his finer moments either. I chose to ignore the disappointment and go to see Rock of Ages with a friend, and most importantly, I vowed to myself to show him mercy, even though I didn’t feel like it. And that’s the key right there. Sometimes, we have to decide to do something whether we feel like it or not. Feelings aren’t necessary for a righteous decision, though I will agree, they do make things easier. But mercy does come a little easier to me than patience, and I chose to try to hang on to my peace by exercising one of God’s principles for a happy life. Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy. And, boy, do I need plenty of that!!
I’ve always kept in the back of my mind the scriptures about mercy, even as a child, and how I’d like to have as much mercy as I can get from my God. I haven’t lived a sinless life by any stretch of the imagination, so I have to show as much mercy as humanly possible to my fellow human beings here on earth. I don’t want to be afraid to see God’s face when I die, and this is one area that I push myself to exceed in each circumstance that presents itself.
17The merciful man doeth good to his own soul: but he that is cruel troubleth his own flesh.
7Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.
36Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful.
I am not going to say that it was even the tiniest bit easy, but I was able to forgive someone who wasn’t in the slightest remorseful for the pain he’d caused me. And that was when God really manifested His power, because just that one struggling little act of faith and obedience I grudgingly tried to execute in my life opened up a floodgate in my husband’s heart, and set before my own eyes proof that the principles of the Lord truly do work. On top of giving me the peace that comes from trusting the Lord, having a clean conscience, and refusing to give up hope, I had the added joy of seeing some peace and hope enter back into Chef’s eyes, and that was almost the best part of the whole exercise.
I’m not naive. I have no doubt that this is just one tiny moment of rest in this war, but it was a glimpse that things won’t always feel like this, and it was a reassurance that God is still in charge of this whole drama. He knows what He is doing, and He deserves my trust. My hope rests securely in His hands, and I won’t grow sick from it being deferred and unfruitful.
If there is just one principle I have always hoped my children would understand and embrace, it the principle of mercy. We simply can not have too much mercy on each other. We should always try our best to forgive and dismiss the things people do to us that hurts us, whether it be on purpose or by accident. This ability seems to be something that is fast being a forgotten gift here in America. We are so constantly protective of our rights and other people’s respect for what we feel we deserve that we’ve forgotten that from the very cross He was hung on, Jesus asked His Father to forgive the people who’d nailed Him on it. There was no benefit to Jesus for that ultimate act of kindness that would outrank the effect His words would have on those who were guilty of causing Him so much pain. And because we also are guilty of causing Jesus grief, we should remember that mercy, and pass it forward.
In everything we do, let’s try to remember to be merciful…forgiving those who aren’t sorry and forgetting the wrongs that we have every earthly right to hold on to, in honor of Him who did the same thing for us, even though we are guilty daily of heinous acts of betrayal, disrespect, and ingratitude.
31And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.
He has shown you, O man, what is good;
And what does the Lord require of you
But to do justly,
To love mercy,
And to walk humbly with your God?