It’s easy for me to want to pass on the devotion today because I am discouraged. I think, though, that this space would be less than honest if I only wrote when I am feeling inspired, strong, and full of faith.
God is doing a new work in my life. And I am excited about it. But here’s the thing: spring comes after winter. New growth comes from a seed that has died in the soil and then finally sprouts up into something wonderful. I’m not trying to be dramatic. It’s just that sometimes that is the way of it. Truth be told, I want sunshine and easy ways.
God, though, sees clearly what is lurking in all my shadows. I have often said that one of God’s mercies in my life in particular, and I am sure in yours, is that He doesn’t always lift the veil and let us see all that He sees. I could never handle the constant, clear view of how far I still (always) have to go.
Lately I have been afforded many new glances into what He sees. Starting a new journey can do that to you. Our senses are heightened and so the Holy Spirit makes the most of our attentiveness, and draws back the heavy veil. Behind it I see how I have been lazy, faithless, afraid, quick to cynicism, insensitivity, and doubt. I’ll spare you the rest.
Today I was not just aware of my own sinfulness. Someone else took the opportunity to point it out. Does that ever happen to you? Just for the record, I am a pretty harsh judge on myself. Don’t all of us treat our own hearts with a unique severity?
I find it discouraging, then, to not only be aware of how badly I miss the mark, but then to be reminded that there are many other things I do- things I am not even aware of that I do- little insensitivities, remarks, or oversights that make the load today even heavier. Turns out I don’t even have to try, to fail.
It’s on days like today I cling to a verse like this one that is in my pocket, pinned up at my computer, typed onto my homescreen, and penned onto my grocery list:
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction…”
2 Corinthians 1:3-4a
God does not just have one-time-salvation-only mercy for me. He has many mercies. Mercy for sorrows. Mercy for my mistakes. Mercy for my weaknesses. Mercy for my many sins. A mercy, really, for every affliction.
I am going to invite the comfort and mercy of God into every one today. Won’t you?