To Love Mercy
I love that my God talks to me. Even in the midst of an ocean of mud and sin, He’ll still reach out and shine a light into my life to help me see truth through all the mess.
In one book I’m reading, the author puts it this way:
Micah asks what God requires of us and then answers three things: to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with our God. What Micah doesn’t say explicitly – I had to figure this one out on my own – is that the love of mercy grows naturally from the practice of justice and the discipline of walking with God. It grows naturally, because these things daily expose our need for mercy. The attempt to walk humbly and do justly… has uncovered the witness of my own heart, the cunning and tenacity of my sloth, my thousand cheap disguises, my endless excuses. It’s revealed what I call justice is often only self-protection, self-vindication, raw spite. It’s shown me how hard – how nearly impossible – it is to walk humbly and do justly.
So I love mercy.
The Holy Wild by Mark Buchanan, p117-118
Truly, truly – the more I strive to live a godly life, the more ungodly it is revealed to be. Would it be better if I continued in ignorance of the depths of my own depravation? Hardly. If I didn’t know how great my need was, how could I ever begin to see how incredible the Father’s grace is? How could I know how extraordinary Christ’s sacrifice was? How could I begin to comprehend the love of God if I have no knowledge of the extent to which it has gone to bring me back? How could I worship my God for his mercy if I do not know the just and holy nature that allowed for its work in my life?
There’s a pitfall in this, I have realised. When you stand before God, small and lowly as you are, and your eyes lose their focus and drift from his face to look at your own feet, suddenly your own inadequacy and unimportance are magnified and draw your attention to yourself. Instead of realising the extent to which God has worked in your life, you begin to think of the extent to which you have been unable to do anything with your own power. Your weakness and failings blow up in front of you, and form a smoky cloud through which God is a distant, distorted image.
No, the eyes must stay focused on Him. It is because of our weakness that God’s power is at work within us, and that work is all to His glory. And for His mercy alone, God deserves all the worship, all the praise. Even a glimmer of that should draw glory from our lips, and lift our faces heavenward. Let not this ‘self’ of ours, which we must think of occasionally to realise how much God has done, draw all our attention away from his miraculous and wonderful work.