“Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.” Matthew 5:7
Some people hurt us. Some people hurt us so badly we can’t fathom we would ever forgive them let alone want to talk to them again not to mention do something nice for them least of all pray for them with a pure heart filled with love for them – and with the Lord Jesus’ sweet mercy.
“Thank you for praying for me,” a loved one told me over the telephone as he lay in his hospital bed. “And thank you for not judging me.” He had landed in the hospital in part due to ongoing struggles with strongholds, the same struggles that resulted in how poorly he had treated me for years.
There was a time not so many years ago that my heart had been so filled with hurt, hatred, pride, judgment, and condemnation concerning how he had treated me and his refusal to part with what had caused such treatment that I could not have conceived we would one day be having such a conversation – and that I would be praying for him with such sweet mercy. But that very day had come.
The next morning, I listened for the first time to the voice mail he had left me before I had prayed for him as I had called him back without playing the message.
“Please call me. I want someone to pray with me. I want you SPECIFICALLY,” he had said. Tears came. The last person he would have reached out to years ago would have been me. I had had no mercy at all. I believed in Christ, but my heart had been too filled with wickedness to be filled with the Spirit of Christ – and with His sweet mercy.
Years before, I had pointed the finger so vehemently and angrily at my loved one that I had not been able to see all the hurt I had caused him with my despicable attitude, with my mouth in his presence and behind his back, and with the way I withheld Christ’s love from him. Mercy was the last thing I would have considered showing him let alone felt for him.
What had changed? I had become a fully committed Christ follower. I had begun a life-long chase after the Lord, diligent daily study and application of His Word, developed a breathtaking relationship with God, and at last opened my heart and life to the Lord so He would have, and still has, free reign in convicting, chastening, teaching, and transforming me. And at long last, I could see the sweet mercy the Lord died on the cross to give me not just once but every moment of every day is the same sweet mercy He calls me to give unto others. What peace my loved one and I experienced in that call as God’s Spirit bathed us in His sweet mercy. Be merciful, my friend. Show others the Lord’s sweet mercy.