When Extending Mercy Looks Like Storm Clouds

Ocean

The rain was falling softly this morning and all was calm in my little haven at home. But, last night multiple storms were brewing, angry lights flickered across the sky and warning sirens alarmed people to take cover. I drove home with my mom-car filled with scared little girls as hail made ugly pounding sounds on my car that was just trying to creep it’s way slowly down the interstate.

It wasn’t looking good for us when the sky turned an angry shade of grayish-green and we ran like crazy through a parking lot trying to outrun the rain. And then the rain came soft, then hard.

Winds raged and touched down in places, and homes nearby, leaving a mark on cities that use to look whole and livable. Somewhere today a hurting heart has lost everything, even a loved one, and how do you recover from that?

It’s strange how quickly storms happen in our personal lives as well, we might have slight warnings but we ignore them until it’s too late to take cover.

Honestly, the last two weeks I felt as if I was standing in a pile of ruble where strong walls used to be. All hell broke loose without my permission and I’ve had to extend mercy repeatedly. At moments easily, sometimes slowly, and the other times I wrestled with it completely annoyed by the situation that hit so close to home. My mercy was harder to extend and give away like a gift when the aching was overriding the softer side of me. So, I held onto my gift not quite ready to hand it over until some things had changed.

We tend to attach our conflicts to a person because naturally those two things are twisted and tangled, and most of the time they are working against each other like a tug-of-war unfairly matched.

At times I felt mangled and at other times I felt like I was holding my own while still being pummeled and taking hits.

Winds and storms die down and so does the hurt and confusion, so I kept taking all of ruins and ruble to Jesus asking him what was my role in all of this. The way God has made soul provision for me during this hard time has been undeniable and even though things haven’t been all butterflies and rainbows, his favor and peace sustains me. I’m covered and I feel it.

In Psalm 85 the writer is praying that the Lord will restore favor to the land, asking God how long his anger will linger. I soaked in these scriptures this morning knowing it was the exact word I needed during this season for winning in the mercy department. Conflict happens and storms happen; but on the other side of that is a place where our faith deepens as we submit to God. Righteousness and peace kiss and make up.

I will hear what God the Lord will speak,
For He will speak peace
 To His people and to His saints;
But let them not turn back to folly.

Surely His salvation is near to those who fear Him,
That glory may dwell in our land.

10 Mercy and truth have met together;
 Righteousness and peace have kissed.

Psalm 85:8-11(NKJV)

I’m thankful for ceaseless mercy from a God who gives it freely even when I don’t deserve it. We pray for favor for our land, homes, and hearts and then we wait out the storms and unmatched tug-of-wars with the enemy of our souls who always fights dirty.

Maybe for you it’s stormy right now and everyone has let you down. Wrestle with it for a little while to find out what God is really trying to protect you from and teach you during this time. Pray and ask God to help you let go of the long list of wrongs that are leaving you undone.

Now that things have calmed down for me personally, I am working to rebuild a few things that need my attention. I can say for a fact that being on the other side where our righteousness and peace kiss is worth it because mercy and truth will never cripple us. It makes us better and more like Christ. Of course, it’s hard and I would much rather have butterflies and rainbows instead of ruble and occasional crying, but I don’t want to miss out on this journey of becoming by playing it safe and being unwilling to run wild through parking lots.

Much love and prayers,

Jennifer Renee

Linking up with my buddy Suzie Eller for #livefreeThursday

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