Faith, Personal Growth

The Gift of Tender Mercy to the Miserable Heart

attic ladderI fell from our attic.

It was about 4 years ago. Our attic is upstairs and has one of those pull-down-from-the-ceiling doors. I had just located the requested Batman toy for our second son. Success.

I thought I could hop the opening, hoisting myself across the rectangular hole to land on the ladder opposite of me.  I remember the moment in which I decided that it was a good idea. Sure, I could do it.

But …I was wrong.  I FELL.  Straight down… hitting the ladder as I went.  The carpet and my 2nd boy cushioned my fall.girl in attic

After the shock, I assessed the damage.  My boy was ok, just a bit shaken that his mom had fallen from the sky.  My toe was bloody, but seemingly there was no gash that needed stitches.  But my knee, well, it was in pain. It made a clicking noise when I walked.  After a visit to the doctor, my attic fall gifted me with a tear in my meniscus requiring surgery to repair. Ugh.

I felt so stupid. I was mad at myself.

What was I thinking?

Why did I decide that it was a good idea?

Why did I think that I could “superhuman hop” the opening?

Stupid. Stupid.

I was miserable. Not so much in physical pain. But in the internal regret I felt over the stupid choice I had made. And now, having to deal with the inconvenient consequence and expense of surgery. Miserable.

Misery has a way of messing us up, causing all sorts of internal regret and unsettledness. In Hosea 3, I’m sure Gomer felt miserable as she stood dirty, broken, on sale to the highest bidder. I’m sure she regretted all the stupid choices that led her to that moment.

What had she been thinking?

Why did she decide that it was a good idea to leave her loving husband, Hosea?

Stupid. Stupid.

In our discovery of the six gifts God promises in Hosea 2:18-19, today we unwrap:

mercy

Hosea showed mercy. He was not only moved in grace to forgive and restore her again as his wife, but he was motivated to go deeper…to have mercy on her by easing her suffering and misery of heart through reestablishing a relationship with her.

God responds with mercy to the miserable heart.

  • Misery from the sting of painful choices.
  • Misery for the deep and utter grief of losing a dear one.
  • Misery because of the disappointment to unmet plans or dreams.
  • Misery in the struggle with an unexpected disease.
  • Misery due to the loneliness deep down that hovers over this holiday season.

Listen with this tenderest of whispers…God responds to you in love desiring to relieve your suffering. And, my friend, relief comes in a relationship with Him.

Is your view of God like this? Merciful? Turn your heart to these truths:

  • I am miserable but God is merciful. He redeems me, lifts me up and carries me through. I am not ignored, disregarded, or rejected. In the junk I can’t get out of myself, He lifts me up from my suffering and carries me close to His heart because of His love.

“In all their distress He too was distressed, and the angel of His presence saved them. In His love and mercy He redeemed them; He lifted them up and carried them all the days of old.” Isaiah 63:9

  • I am miserable but God is merciful. He gives me life when I feel used up and hopeless. When I feel blah and in a funk and just cranky, I can focus on the truth. I have purpose and reason to get up in the morning because of His love.

“But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved.” Ephesians 2:4-5

  • I am miserable but God is merciful. He makes all things new. He breathes new life into my dreary heart. When I look around and see the pain, the ugliness, the brokenness, and the hurt, I can close my eyes and breathe in His mercy. I have hope for my future because of His love.

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In His great mercy He has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.” 1 Peter 1:3

He loves me like that. He loves you like that. His tender mercy is a beautiful and life-changing thing. It is found in the nook of His persevering love.

Meet me back here on THURSDAY as we unwrap the sixth gift of love God promises.

It sings a little tune in my heart… “Great is Thy…

Hosea

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