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Our Dire Need for Mercy

My Friend Debbie - Need for Mercy     A few weeks ago, we were rushing out of the house in an effort to get to the grocery store, with my mother-in-law and sister-in-law in town from California, my twins, Juliana and Andrew, 3, and our 6-month old, Charlotte.  I opened the garage door (from inside the garage) and put Juliana in the car in the driveway.  She likes to buckle herself in.  I went back in to get Andrew and the baby. I came back to the garage and the garage door was closed.  I thought to myself, “Juliana is not buckled in, she must be playing with the button that opens the garage door inside the car.”  In all my stress, I opened the garage door again and saw Juliana playing with the buttons that open the garage door.  I scolded her, telling her that she is not to play with the buttons around mommy’s seat; it is not safe.  

     About a minute later, my sister-in-law, who had been in the backyard, came out to the driveway and said, “Oh I didn’t know you were out here!  I’m sorry I closed the door.”  She had seen the garage door open and closed it and didn’t realize we were leaving or that Juliana was in the car already.  It turned out that Juliana was trying very hard to get the door back open, knowing that she was left alone out there.  When I realized my mistake in scolding her, I was flooded with guilt and shame because I had wrongly accused her when I could have just plainly asked her what she was doing.  She would have said, “I was trying to get the door back open!”  

     I learn so many lessons from my daughter on a daily basis! I love who she is and her strong, take-charge personality, but this particular lesson I learned from God.  In that brief moment of guilt and shame, I dashed up the stairs to the bedroom and sat on my bed.  It might not seem like a big deal, but to me, it was a lot because I made my daughter feel bad for nothing.  I just prayed to the Lord, asking for His peace in the mistakes I make, and acceptance of myself for my insufficiencies as a mom.  I heard, “First John 3,” in that sweet voice of the Holy Spirit I have come to know well, and when I hear Scripture verses, I know beyond a doubt that it is God.    

     1 John 3: 1-3 reads: “Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God!  Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him.  Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.  And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure” (NKJV).

     I just took away such mercy from this passage.  I don’t have to be perfect; I don’t have to pretend to have it all together, and in my mistakes, I am still accepted by God who called me His child.  We are all children of God and regardless of what we are doing or where we plan to go with our lives and what mistakes we make along the way, we are always His children.  The world may never understand this,  but we are shown such mercy because He knows that our heart’s desire is to be like Him. 

     We are trying to be pure of heart, trying to be sinless, but we only find perfection and total purity of heart in Christ.  I can accept myself a little more today because I know that even though I made a blatant mistake,  it has not changed my place with God as His child because of His mercy--because He accepts us as we are even when we don’t accept ourselves so much.  
At this point, everything sort of fell into place, I found my peace, and I went back downstairs and apologized to Juliana for wrongly scolding her when she was just trying to open the door she saw close in front of her.  She forgave me immediately saying, “That’s ok, Mommy, accidents happen.”  

     We have a dire need for mercy on a daily basis.  There are over 500 references to mercy in the Bible.  Many of them say “show mercy…” or “be merciful…” or “Have mercy.” Matthew 5:7 says, “Blessed are the merciful for they shall be shown mercy…” and James 2:13 says, “It is better to show mercy than to judge…”  I look at my children a little differently after that day, being children of God, all of us, and I’m less inclined to stick to those negative consequences of their deliberate actions or mistakes (i.e., discipline) and much more inclined to show mercy…because I was shown mercy.  Being a child of a God whose mercies endure forever, I count my showing mercy as being a little bit more like the One whom we strive to resemble, and that brings us and our kids a little closer to Him.

Copyright © 2008-2015 Patricia Vera

Reader Comments...
2010-01-04 20:50:53
"Patricia, great article! So true. "
        - Nancy

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