TO THOSE SLUMPED IN THE BACK OF THE ROOM

I was DONE!!!! 2 ½ hours of trying to revise a computer problem and I was beyond frustrated. Part of the problem involved my perfectionism. Nothing was going smoothly and I didn’t possess one more ounce of energy. I snapped. I became abrupt with those who either did or did not deserve it. The adult child was having a temper tantrum.

God in His grace stepped in and gave me a Polaroid picture of myself. It was not a glamourous shot. He also beckoned my weary heart. He asked me to get right with Him, to put the work aside and to rest in His companionship.

FINDING GOD’S MERCY

God’s mercy is His pity, compassion and kindness toward people. I was pretty pitiful. Silencing my phone, shutting down my computer, and sitting in the quiet of His presence, I asked for forgiveness. Then I began apologizing to those I had treated so rudely. I didn’t deserve the compassion and forgiveness of my merciful God.

Jesus tells a story in Luke 18 of about two men going to the Temple to pray. One was a super-religious Pharisee. He “posed and prayed like this: ‘Oh, God, I thank you that I am not like other people—robbers, crooks, adulterers, or, heaven forbid, like this tax man. I fast twice a week and tithe on all my income.’” In contrast there is the tax man, the prodigious sinner, slumped in the shadows. His face was in his hands and he didn’t dare to look up. He knew what his reflection in God’s Word would look like.  That man prayed, ‘God, give mercy. Forgive me, a sinner.’” Jesus then commented, “This tax man, not the other, went home having been made right with God. For everyone who sets himself up as somebody will become a nobody, and the man who makes himself nobody will become somebody.”

I AM THE PERSON SLUMPED IN THE BACK OF THE ROOM

God’s mercy is defined as His pity, compassion, and kindness toward people. There are many women in the Bible who have wondered at the mercy of God. Women who had blown it; Rahab and Bathsheba, to name a few. They took a wrong turn and then turned to a merciful God. I join them on bended knees because He Who has the power to punish has shown mercy to the broken. I am the person sitting slumped in the shadows in the back of the room.

Apply: Join me in praying Psalm 51:1: “Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions.” Then remember the promise: “Let the wicked forsake their ways and the unrighteous their thoughts. Let them turn to the Lord, and he will have mercy on them, and to our God, for he will freely pardon.” (Isaiah 55:7)

Extra Credit: Listen to the song The Goodness of God The verse begins: “I love You, Lord, for Your mercy never fails me. All my days, I’ve been held in Your hands. From the moment that I wake up, until I lay my head. Oh, I will sing of the goodness of God.”

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