Mercy Me!

I cling to these thoughts in the Bible about forgiveness:

  • My sins are as far as the east from the west.
  • They are blotted out.
  • My trespasses are tread under God’s foot.
  • My rebellion is hurled into the depths of the sea (my favorite).
  • It is wiped out and white as snow.
  • The old is gone, the new is here!

There is no lack of clarity here. It’s a done deal. But we are trapped in out little human brains and our daily failures. We wake up some mornings feeling pretty dirty. So, God in His great wisdom, adds to His monumental gift of forgiveness and gives us mercies that are new every morning.

Untitled drawingAnother good reason I need this daily dose of heavenly mercy? Those other pesky verses about forgiveness that are a wee bit tricky for me – OK, not just a wee bit:

  • If you do not forgive other people’s sins, your Father won’t forgive your sins. (What??!)
  • Do not let the sun go down on your anger.
  • Do good to those who hate you.
  • If he sins against you seven times in the day, and turns to you seven times, saying, ‘I repent,’ you must forgive him. (Now come on.)

There are days when these things seem ridiculous and impossible. There are days when I flat out reject forgiveness and wallow like a pig in resentment and revenge-plotting. Fortunately, those mercies are new EVERY SINGLE MORNING, and I can wake up, claim them anew, and try again.

 

My Easter

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I have spit upon my Jesus. I have been a thorn in his crown. I have denied him outright. I have run away. And much of this was after I knew him, after he invited me into The Story.

They stripped everything from him at the cross. They tortured him physically and psychologically. And there have been moments, lost in pride and fear, when I joined right in. When I seek forgiveness for my foolish failings, I not only need pardon for my personal naughty list, I need forgiveness for my participation in his death – his death!

But… It. Is. Finished. What I am, what I have done, what I will do, what I won’t do that I should – all of these things were already accounted for when he sought my heart the first time – and the 10th, and the 1,059th. Shame haunts me sometimes, for I have done some shameful things. But shame will not win. It cannot rule because my fate is already sealed.


I was given my sentence, but He served my time.


There have been moments where my life has shown a faint flicker of the fire of his love story. These moments breathed life into my faltering faith and reminded me that HE IS LIFE, and that I am coming alive.

There have been seasons of darkness when I wandered far from the narrow, lighted path. The sheer terror of those times reminded me of the emptiness, the meaninglessness, of life without him. The universe lost its enchantment.

But, grace upon grace, every time I turned back, he was waiting. He never shielded his eyes from my sad display of self-destruction. He simply waited for me to get back to the right story, the real story, so we could get on with things.

For the REAL story is HIS story. It is written across all time. It is written where there is no time. It is written in our very hearts if we will hear it. He is the vine of all goodness, and he tells me I can be a branch growing from that perfect vine.

My story will be grafted into LIFE itself – if only I will let it.