God’s grace gives us blessings we don’t deserve and His mercy withholds judgment we do deserve.
Here are two stories of mercy and grace. The first is of David – “a man after God’s own heart” (1000 BC). Listen as David acknowledges his own weakness and praises God:
In my distress I called to the Lord; I called out to my God. From his temple he heard my voice; my cry came to his ears.
He rescued me from my powerful enemy, from my foes, who were too strong for me. They confronted me in the day of my disaster, but the Lord was my support. He brought me out into a spacious place; he rescued me because he delighted in me. 2 Samuel 22:7, 18-20 NIV
The second story is told of Francis of Assisi (~1181 – 1226) who one day gathered his friends at a remote monastery in central Italy. When he asked them about their journeys, each brother had a harrowing tale to report. One had been riding his mule across a narrow bridge that spanned a deep gorge. When the mule bolted, the man was nearly thrown into the ravine. He praised God he hadn’t been killed. Another brother had nearly drowned fording a river but, he said, “God in His grace provided a tree that had fallen across the water. I was able to grasp a branch and pull myself to safety.”
Other brothers expressed similar stories of God’s protection. Then someone asked Francis about his trip. “I experienced the greatest miracle of all,” said the famous friar. “I had a smooth, pleasant, and uneventful journey.”
God’s grace and mercy comes in many forms. He blesses, heals, rescues, delivers, helps, uplifts, and withholds more times every day than we can count. Thank you Lord.
Recognize any stories of God’s mercy and grace in your own life?