Sunday, October 19, 2014

See God {Day 19: When Mercy Triumphs over Judgment}

"Her life was undone in a moment by her own doing." (Jon Bloom)

And I still don't know what to do with that.  I get to meet occasionally with a lady who has tried countless times to take her own life.  But God won't allow it.  He rescues her every single time.  My heart wrestles with why he didn't rescue my sister that day; why didn't He override her desire to undo her life in a single moment?

So, my heart turns to my Mother, because I know a mother's heart.  I think of the birth of my babies.  I know the longing of wanting them in your arms and out of your womb.  I know there is a sense of sacred that surrounds this day.  It was the day her longings for a child came to fruition.  It was the day of God's promises coming to revelation.  It was the day her faith became her eyes...the day her utterances of "God is my vow, God is faithful to His promise" became the beautiful girl dubbed with the middle name Elisabeth: "God is my vow, God's promise."

God was fulfilling something to my Mother in the gift of this little girl.

It was a day that mercy triumphed.  God had the ability of getting right inside of my Mom's skin.  He saw things from her point of view.  He felt the need she had for a child.  He deliberately identified with her hurt.  And he did something about it.  He poured out his chesed (loving kindness) onto her that day on August 19th.

I think of what Kiley did and how it demands mercy from all those left in the quake of destruction.  I am reminded of the story of the adulteress who was caught in the act and drug to the feet of Jesus, demanding that she be condemned.  Stoned.  Hated.  Jesus asked everyone to start picking up stones.  But only if they are without sin.  No one picked up a stone that day.  Jesus had the right to.  He was flawless.  But His very heart shouted that mercy should triumph over judgment. 

He came to bear the burden of that adulteress's guilt. 
He came to bear my sister's guilt.
He came to bear my guilt.

"God visits us when we are in darkness; when we are in such darkness as to know nothing, see nothing, believe nothing, hope nothing; even then the Lord's mercy comes to us."  (Spurgeon)

Mercy triumphed over judgment that day, the day Kiley bowed to the influence of the shadow of death. She was His child.  That was enough.

I don't want to speak for my sister and I obviously don't understand the ramifications of what happens the moment one dies.  But, I tend to picture Kiley about to approach the majestic throne with a tear streaming down her cheek.  She looks up at her Father and starts to see Him running towards her.  He is filled with compassion for her as He throws His arms around her and kisses her.

Perhaps she takes one look at His eyes and hangs her head in shame at refusing the very breath that He had breathed into her.  She blubbers that she isn't worthy to be called his daughter and He doesn't even hear her.  Instead, He drapes her in the finest robe and begins the celebration.

Our Father is merciful.  He is compassionate.  He knows the deepest aches and wounds of our precious souls. C. H. Spurgeon says it like this, "You are as much a son or daughter when you walk in the dark as when you rejoice in the light of Jehovah's countenance."

 My heart has been heavy with this one theme:  mercy triumphs over judgment.  If we want to find where mercy was first mentioned in the Bible, we will find it in the story of Lot.  He and his daughters are rescued out of a country that thumbs its nose at the One True God.  They were spared from judgment and harm.

I wonder what it means to be merciful.  I know the merciful will be shown mercy.  I believe our rewards in heaven will be tied to how merciful we have been to others while on earth.  I think it is easy for us to choose to act with judgment instead of mercy...especially towards our country and leaders and health care workers right now. What if we chose prayer over condemning words?

Matthew Henry said that "all children of men, in the last day, will be either vessels of wrath or vessels of mercy.  It concerns all to consider among which they shall be found--and let us remember that blessed are the merciful-for they shall obtain mercy." 

Mercy="eleos"; the moral quality of feeling compassion and especially of showing kindness toward someone in need.  It would seem that mercy would always lead to practical help in a person's life.

Will we choose to crawl into someone else's skin until we feel what they feel?  Until we think what they think?  Until we see what they see?  Jesus did.  Jesus chose to become human.  He knows how hard it is to be us, and yet he chose to identify with us anyway.  He chose to be mercy.

"God would have that those whom He has adopted, as He is to them a kind and indulgent Father, to bear and exhibit His image on the earth." Calvin

His image is mercy.

Is that my image?

{Lord, have mercy on me when I have not chosen mercy over judgment.  Give me grace to choose mercy from here on out.}

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