“Surely goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life…” Psalm 23:6a (KJV)
Life happens! Right now we are in the midst of moving, getting two ready for college, dealing with pain, and coming home from 5 months on the road. Life happens! But when we abide in the presence of the Lord, “Surely, goodness and mercy will follow me…” Surely means undoubtedly. It will happen. And goodness and mercy is God’s blessing for this life. Does that mean that there will be no sorrows or troubles? No. But in the midst we will see God’s goodness and mercy. Mr. Truett Cathay, the founder of Chik-Fil-A, dared to stand up for traditional marriage. He has been attacked by the gay and lesbian groups. But in the midst, he is finding God’s goodness and mercy. Today, Christians across America are showing their support by eating at his restaurants.
An often misunderstood and misquoted verse of the Bible is Romans 8:28 – “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” The “And” refers back to the previous verses on prayer. We are weak and don’t know what to ask, but the Spirit of God intercedes on our behalf. We would ask for goodness and mercy in the immediate and transient things of this life. Our God knows better. He wants us to experience good for all of eternity and that comes only with character building and relating intimately with our Savior and God. A child asks for candy. Sometimes the parent will give him some. Often though the answer is no because the parent knows that candy is not the best for the child in the long run. Our God knows eternity; we do not. He knows our hearts; we do not. He knows our bents and our sin and our minds; we do not. But the Spirit does. All things will work for our good.
And mercy (or lovingkindness in the NAS)… When we are abiding in an intimate relationship with our God, we will know His mercy and His lovingkindness and that is enough. God’s mercy is His forgiveness and sacrifice that we might be in His presence. His lovingkindness is His motive behind that mercy. He loves us and delights in us and wants to spend time with us! How great is that?!
And, God does not abandon us when we are old and cannot do things for Him. He is with us all the days of our lives! And there is sweetness to the one who has learned to walk with Him in their younger years and relief for those who are turning to Him in the last days. Heaven is just a step away! There is true mercy and goodness.
Hint of the Day: Spend a day telling your children ‘no’ for everything. Spend the next day telling them “yes” (for everything that is not harmful). The third day or the second night, ask them which they preferred. They will be likely to say neither! “No” was no fun! “Yes” did not make them feel like they were protected or that someone bigger was in control. They might say they liked the “yes” day, but take it farther and give examples where an always “yes” would not be wise and could actually be scary. Then tell that God is bigger and His “no’s” and “yes’s” are there to protect us and make us have a relationship with Him.