Mercy comes to us when we need forgiveness and can’t pay for it. As the songwriter reminded, God’s grace is amazing! It’s a gift we don’t deserve but desperately need. We absolutely cannot save ourselves from the penalty of our sinful lives, but God’s mercy covers those sins and welcomes us into his family.
Grace is different.
To illustrate grace, meet my father-in-law Marriott Albertson (pronounced ‘merit.) As well as leading well in industry, there was a soft side of him also.
He would periodically write love notes to his wife Peggy. He would then hide them in places where she might randomly find one… in a tea cup in the cupboard, under an article of clothing, or behind an appliance on the counter.
His loving habit wonderfully illustrates how God hides his grace in our lives letting us find them unexpectedly at critical places in our journeys. It’s like finding love notes from your Heavenly Father in random places and times (usually, just when you need one!)
- Like receiving a powerful dose of comfort from a phone call during a difficult lose in your life.
- Like finding an envelope under your windshield wiper while visiting a friend, containing enough money to pay your rent while you are unemployed.
- Like getting the answer to a procedural question you’ve had about a knotty problem and finding it by surprise in God’s Word.
- Like parking four blocks from an appointment in a driving rainstorm and having the rain stop as you put your car in ‘park.’
- Like being invited to coffee by a friend who didn’t know you needed his friendship badly on this particular day.
Those and hundreds more are God’s hidden packets of ‘mercy’ in places all over your life.
Remember the difference between mercy and grace (or God’s goodness) – mercy is not getting what we deserved and its synonym is “Whew!” Grace is getting a blessing we truly didn’t deserve and its synonym is “Wow!”
God loves us so much that He has assigned these two to travel with us through life. Don’t ever try to outrun them but value them as dearest friends.
“Surely goodness and mercy and unfailing love shall follow me
all the days of my life, and I shall dwell forever [throughout all my days]
in the house and in the presence of the Lord.”
Psalm 23:6 AMP
Next week: Part 5 “God is…”