One of the major issues I’ve had to face on my spiritual journey is my stinking reliance on myself. It’s only been recently (and I’m now in my 60’s) that I’ve confronted my self-reliance. While saying all the right words – “I trust in God” or “Jesus is everything to me” – I still lived as if I could make it on my own. I didn’t realize how desperately I needed the mercy of God. I need to experience the reality that “Your lovingkindness (mercy) is better than life” (Psalm 63.3).[featured-image single_newwindow=”false”]
Fortunately, I’m walking a journey that allows me to learn and experience God and His mercy. I don’t have to know it all at once. I can gradually experience more and more of God’s mercy in everyday life. So, here are a few insights that have come on the journey:
1. Get in touch with mercy – understood & experienced with olive oil
The word mercy in Greek, eleison, has the same root as elaion which is the word for olive tree and the oil from it. The Good Samaritan poured olive oil (elaion) on the wounds of the beaten, half-dead man to soothe and heal. That’s what mercy is and does. The wounded man experienced mercy as olive oil. To him, the healing oil of mercy was medicinal balm for body and soul.
Apparently, many studies have shown the health benefits of olive oil. I’m not promoting olive oil simply for its health benefits. But, perhaps it would be helpful to experience God’s mercy more concretely by using olive oil more frequently.
Connect mercy with olive oil and see if God’s mercy becomes more real to you.
2. Get in touch with mercy – understood & experienced at “the throne of grace”
What is often referred to as the mercy seat – the gold lid with two cherubim at the ends forming a covering over the Ark of the Covenant – rests the cloud or visible symbol of the divine presence on the Day of Atonement. Here God is seated. Here forgiveness is granted through the sprinkling of blood. Here humanity’s relationship with God is restored. Here Divine mercy mingles with human brokenness.
Mercy is abundantly given at the “throne of grace” described in Hebrews 4.16: “Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” Here is a place where mercy flows. Perhaps this is a veiled description of the place where Jesus is at His Father’s right hand. At this “seat of mercy” where the Lord of mercy sits is all the mercy you ever need.
Connect the mercy seat with the throne of mercy and see if God’s mercy becomes more real to you.
3. Come to the end of yourself. Like the prodigal, turn from your self-sufficiency and run home to the arms of Mercy.
4. Come to Mercy all day long. Your “time of need” is every moment of every day. There is never a moment when you don’t need God’s mercy.
5. Come to Mercy to experience mercy. God is the Source of Mercy. Sit where He sits. Live in Mercy. Ask Mercy to live in you.
There is no place where mercy is not!
God’s mercy endures forever! (Psalm 136.1)
God’s mercy is your’s every morning (Lamentations 3.23)
How are you experiencing or struggling with God’s mercy? Share below.