Have mercy on me, O God, have mercy on me, for in you my soul takes refuge. I will take refuge in the shadow of your wings . . . Psalm 57: 1
As we continue our month of gratitude, on this 13th day of November, we give thanks to God for giving us the wonderful gift of His loving mercy and grace.
Do you ever catch yourself saying some of those old expressions that our parents and grandparents use to say? It’s been said that it’s “a Southern thing”, but I can’t imagine these sayings being exclusive just to us! I mean some are priceless, such as “Goodness gracious!” “Bless their hearts!” “Well, I reckon,” and one of the best, “I swunny!” (We gotta admit these are a lot better than some “phrases” we hear!)
And one I saw just the other day in a book I was reading, that I had completely forgotten about and am pretty sure I have actually heard once or twice, “Ain’t nunayall right!” (Did you get that one? Excuse the grammar!) But my all time favorite – that I must have heard my mom say a thousand times – is, “Well, Lord, have mercy!” (or as some say,“Lorda mercy!” or Lawda mercy!”)
She always said it, as if it was out of disbelief, such as, “Well, Lord, have mercy! It’s gonna rain! I hope we can get those clothes off the line before it does! Or, “Lord, have mercy, look at the size of those potatoes in the garden!”
Maybe that where’s we get the expression! It is pretty amazing and hard to believe that God gives us His tender mercies when we are so unworthy of His blessings, His love, and His grace. We’ve heard it said that “Mercy is not getting what we deserve, and grace is getting what we don’t deserve.” What compassion He gives us.
How grateful we can be that God loves us, forgives us, accepts us, and has mercy upon us over and over again. No matter who we are or what we have done, even if we don’t deserve it – not that we ever could – we each receive His mercy and grace in abundance.
Our God wants us to come to Him with humble hearts, seeking His forgiveness, and wanting to repent and change our lives for the better. And when we do, we can always find refuge in Him. He always stands ready to give us another chance, and He wants to encourage our spirits and fill our hearts with His love.
And He wants more. He wants us to show the same loving, forgiving, and merciful spirit to others as He shows us. How often we want to hold on to our feelings of anger, hurt, or desire for revenge or justice, but God has a better way of loving others.
Perhaps some of those old sayings have much merit. For “God’s grace is good”, we want Him to “bless hearts” with His love, and we always need more mercy – for ourselves and for others. As this Psalm says, let it be our prayer, “Lord, have mercy on us” and continue to give us “refuge in the shadow of your wings.”
How grateful we are for His mercy, love, and grace.
O God, we thank you for your tender mercy and grace upon our lives. How often we fail you, but yet you continue to forgive us and love us unconditionally. May we have hearts filled with your love and give the same mercy and grace to others that you give to us. Amen