“Blessed are the merciful,
For they shall obtain mercy.” Mt. 5:7
“He has shown you, O man, what is good; And what does the Lord require of you But to do justly, To love mercy, And to walk humbly with your God?” Micah 6:8
“I’m teaching you mercy,” the Spirit of God spoke to me as clear as day.
Now wait a minute. God’s lessons are as simple as our reading the Bible and easily simply straightforwardly doing what He tells us, right? His Spirit teaches us His Word, His Spirit conforms us to Himself, and we instantly get it. We’re struck perfect. Perfectly following Jesus. Lesson learned. Test given. Test passed. Off we go. On to the next lesson. Right? Oh, if it were only that simple and easy!
On the road full-time for the Lord and ministry for over a year and a half with five special needs dogs currently is the perfect opportunity – the Lord seems to think so anyway – to teach me His ways, to test me, to train me, to prepare me, to refine me, to lead me to repentance when I fall short, to have mercy upon me, to forgive me, to clean me up when I have fallen, and to lead me forth – in the ongoing process of growing in the image of God.
Studying, studying. Lesson after lesson. Test after test. Growing, growing. With plenty of falling along the way. Like when it comes to mercy. Oh, how the Lord is teaching me about mercy!
Giving drinking water to the dogs takes unbelievable amounts of time daily. One has early stage kidney disease and has to drink plenty. One drinks too much and pee’s inside if I’m not careful. One has reflux sometimes when she drinks too much or too fast. The two paralyzed dogs have to drink enough to try to avoid urinary tract infections which are common to paralyzed people and dogs but not too much that they soak their diapers and I have yet more work to do and a mess on my hands.
One doesn’t like water much of the time, so I have to add flavor to coax him to drink. Then the others figure this out and don’t want regular water. I can’t keep the water dishes out so all the day long have to bend down to get them to drink the right amount at the right time.
Mercy? Why do I need it? Why do I need love, compassion, and forgiveness? Why do I need to be kind and patient in this? And not lose my temper but instead be gentle? One day in my shoes with 5 special needs dogs with these drinking issues and you will quickly find out.
Why on that particular day did the Lord tell me He was teaching me mercy? My paralyzed dog Miss Mercy needed to get off her comfy pillow to get to the water, needed the water because she was not long ago diagnosed with urinary crystals, had too high PH in her urine, needed an abundance of water, and knocked the water – flavored with dog food so it would have an odor to it of course – EVERYWHERE including on herself!
Oh, how mad I was! Angry! And mean! I verbally made sure she knew how incredibly wrong she was! How bad she was! That’s when the Lord got a hold of me.
“I’m teaching you mercy,” He said.
I didn’t just need mercy for my sweet dogs. I need mercy for people. We all need mercy. God’s Word makes it plain and clear! But rather than just read about mercy in the Bible and get mercy down perfectly, mercy is something we learn to have over time as the Lord makes us more like Himself. As He presents us with opportunities to walk in His love and to have mercy. To bestow upon others the love and mercy He so graciously gives us! No matter how they act, what they say, what they do, what they don’t say and don’t do. No matter what. Unconditional mercy. Because God calls us to mercy. To be merciful.
I repented. Quickly. By God’s grace. For God’s glory. And lovingly gently made sure Miss Mercy knows how much I love her, gave her a big dish of water, and off I went to write this message.
Please, friend, we must be merciful. To all. Because God calls us to love and mercy. We are blessed when we are merciful. How do I know? God says so. But the blessing of being merciful is not first and foremost why we must be merciful. Above all else, we need to be merciful in obedience to Christ.
Let us be merciful, dear one, merciful, merciful, and merciful. In and through the love of Christ! AMEN!