“I don’t want to use up all my mercy cards ‘cause I don’t know how many I have left.” I’ll never forget this line from a poem I wrote so many, many, many years ago. The poem was about backsliding and how at times we will play a game of chance with God’s mercy and grace. But today, as I sat trying to figure out what to read, I was lead to Psalm 23. Now we ALLLLLLL now Psalm 23:
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
But have you ever paid attention to the last verse? This verse really caught my attention – especially the word mercy. “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” So why do we need goodness and mercy to follow us always? Why is it important for the Father to even mention this in His word?
Now I admit, in the past, there were times I was guilty of reading the word just to say I read it – something to check of my list. But once I started to develop a relationship with the Father, I really sought to learn more about Him and have a deeper understanding of His word. So, I looked up what mercy meant. Mercy means “compassion or forgiveness shown toward someone whom it is within one's power to punish or harm.” When I read this, tears filled my eyes because I realized that He didn’t have to forgive me for my mistakes but He choose to extend grace and mercy towards me. HE CHOOSE!
He knew we were going to fall short. Make bad decisions. Keep going in circles. Neglect Him. Place other “Gods” before Him and a host of other things. Despite all this, He wanted to let us know that we were already forgiven. No matter what we do, we are already forgiven and his mercy will cover us ALWAYS. That doesn’t mean we take His mercy for granted and press our luck but it is reassuring to know that His mercy is already in place for my journey. Now every time I read this passage I will remember that goodness, compassion and forgiveness shown towards me shall follow me every day of my life and I will live in the house of my Father forever. Now that, is a promise I can depend on.