Let us make crystal clear at the beginning of the year that all we will get from God this year as believers in Jesus is mercy. Whatever pleasures or pains come our way will all be mercy… the fullest obedience and the smallest faith obtain the same thing from God: mercy. A mere mustard seed of faith taps into the mercy of tree-moving power. And flawless obedience leaves us utterly dependent on mercy.
The point is this: Whatever the timing or form of God’s mercy, we never rise above the status of beneficiaries of mercy. We are always utterly dependent on the undeserved. ~ John Piper
March. It is already March and at last I sit to compose a New Year’s post. (Insert
sheepish New Year’s greeting here.) After celebrating Christmas and New Years in British Columbia with my parents and my brother’s family, I walked through the standard routines of the new year. Remember to write the correct year. Head back to Weight Watchers. Make jokes about resolutions. Coin the ingenious term ‘anti-lution’. Sign up for another semester of school. Avoid blogging. Chew on the endless mystery of why my house doesn’t clean itself. Go to work. Come home. Make dinner. Sleep.
Daily, however, came the quiet surge of hope that this year nothing would change; that the health and joy we had left in BC would remain untouched. That the unspoken urgency held by me and my siblings to make new, lasting memories would be unnecessary. That each new scan and appointment would show promise and improvement.
At one point I even whispered to God, ‘If You could experience some serious construction delays on her heavenly rooms, I would appreciate that. A decade or two worth or so would be excellent.’
I’m not being morbid, truly. Just honest. I would be lying if I claimed the reality of the ‘C’ word doesn’t creep in to stain the edges of my life. I spent a week in Arizona with my sister and parents in a delightfully cramped little space that forced us to spread our wings beneath a desert sky. We laughed and reminisced; ate good food and lay poolside; had conversations that led to tears and used the words ‘hymn’ and ‘funeral’ in the same sentence.
It’s all sorts of messy. I would like very much for nothing to change. More than that, I want some kind of assurance from God that nothing will change. I’ve prayed for that.
John Piper writes above that ‘all we will get from God this year… is mercy.’ Sounds like a warning. Sounds almost a little… lacking. Stingy, even.
Merriam Webster defines mercy as follows:
* compassion or forbearance shown especially to an offender or to one subject to one’s power;
* a blessing that is an act of divine favor or compassion
* compassionate treatment of those in distress
I see myself in those definitions.
Offender. Subject to His power. Check.
In distress. Check.
And I see Him.
Compassionate. Mighty. Gentle. Near.
The same today, yesterday and forever.
I whisper, ‘Father, I don’t want anything to change this year.’
His whisper back? ‘I won’t, beloved. I promise.‘