We’ve all witnessed God’s mercy in our lives in countless small ways, that are often too difficult to articulate and sometimes too abstract to even notice. His mercy can be experienced in so many ways, most of those known only to you and the Lord. I suppose, given the trials my family has experienced in the past several years, the Lord’s mercies shine brightly to me as a testament to the fact that He IS merciful. He IS my Rock. He IS a Healer. When you walk through pain, you feel the relief all the more when you get to the other side, and you can better understand how it all fits into God’s plan.
Laura Story, a Christian recording artist, sings a song called Blessings that resonates this so well:
‘Cause what if your blessings come through raindrops
What if your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You’re near
What if the trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise…
I don’t think a single one of us would ever choose to live in a place of trial, pain, dejection, rejection, or suffering. The song ends with this message:
What if trials of this life
The rain, the storms, the hardest nights
Are your mercies in disguise…
This song highlights how often those dark times in our lives are actually a mercy, leading us to a much healthier place and a deeper relationship with the Lord. Without those trials, the pain, the difficulties we face while living in a fallen world, we’d never cry out to, lean on, or lift our eyes to our Lord and Savior. While our pain and suffering is not from God, because He is not a God of chaos, He takes the pieces and fits them back together, creating beauty from the brokenness of our pain.
Mercy has been a common thread in my life over the past six years. Initially, I saw His mercy during a time of desperate loneliness. When we first moved back to Oregon, when my husband was gone five nights a week for two years. I prayed fervently for close friends, and watched as the Lord surrounded me with the most amazing group of women. Women who bolstered me and supported me during times of immeasurable stress, sadness and grief in subsequent years.
Then, I saw His mercy in my mom’s healing from lung cancer in a series of events that are nothing short of miraculous.
I saw His mercy in taking our marriage, which was hanging on by a very frayed thread, and by His hand literally turning our life upside down and on its head. In the process, He gave us a second chance at a healthy marriage. In each moment, His mercies have been ever-present.
I could go on and on. In the moment, the trials of this life do not feel like mercies. They feel like a life that is heavy laden, painful and exhausting. Then, after the fact, you see how God worked in that trial and the mercies He bestowed shine forth brightly.
Too many times to count, I have prayed for God to ease my burdens, and EVERY SINGLE TIME He has answered. Never in a way I anticipated. Never on my own timeline. Always on His. But, He has always answered and the mercy I have experienced as a result has created a depth of relationship with my Lord that I otherwise would not have had the privilege to walk in.
Never in a million years, would I choose the many trials in life I’ve walked through, but I’m grateful for the beauty in my life that has evolved from His mercies.
Robin Whittaker-Martin has been married to Mark for fifteen years. Together, they have three spunky kids and have attended Grace Chapel for the past four and a half years.