Today’s post was written especially for Suzanne Eller’s #LiveFreeThursday. I pray this story ministers to your heart.
When Mercy Is Unthinkable…
But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. Ephesians 2:4-7
Mercy is no more mercy to the person who doesn’t understand their need for it.
But for the person who is desperate for mercy—the dear one who hangs in the balance between the blackness of sin and just penalty—mercy is exquisite.
Mercy is the loving pair of arms that shield such a one from earned consequences.
And mercy to a person in dire need is a jewel of great price. It is a lavish gift that can never be earned or repaid.
Like it was to me the time in my marriage when I was in need of mercy from my husband. I was so wrong and I needed forgiveness.
It was unthinkable in my mind.
CAUTION: Pardon My Mess While I Am Under Construction
The sin of my past had me pinned to the mat.
Years prior, I developed an inappropriate friendship with a male friend of ours. Thankfully, it was only a dance of words and didn’t result in a physical relationship. But that in no way released me from the weight of what I had done.
God spoke to me over and over again. He made it clear I had to tell my husband.
I argued with God.
I didn’t want to expose my deeds. It was over, and it was done in secret. I turned from it, confessed it to God and moved on. That was good enough for me.
But it wasn’t good enough for God.
He said, “You tell your husband.”
I knew what I had to do, and it wasn’t going to be easy. I was so ashamed and scared. I had messed up royally. And now, telling my husband was going to make it real all over again.
Moved By Mercy
It took months for me to get the courage to ‘fess up.
I thought my husband would hate me. I imagined him reacting in every terrible way that I could think of. Fear of the unknown was the excuse I gave myself to disobey one more day.
But the thought that I was walking in disobedience to God bore deep into my conscience.
Suddenly, the fear of the Lord hit me like a ton of bricks. I was in danger zone—I even thought maybe I didn’t truly belong to Christ if could allow myself to ignore God for so, so long.
I broke. I couldn’t continue in my disobedience to the Lord.
I decided I couldn’t say the words, but the writer in me could put together everything I needed to say on paper.
So that’s what I did. I confessed to my husband in a letter.
The moment came. I told my husband I had something I needed to tell him, but I had written it down. I warned him that it was a “bad” letter that contained a confession.
As I handed it to him, my heart was about to explode.
I squirmed uncomfortably as I watched him read it. My heart broke when I saw his face turn red as water collected in the corners of his eyes. He had seen the words that detailed what I had done.
Looking down, I waited while he sat quietly collecting his thoughts.
He raised his head to look at me, and said in response to my closing question, “Well, of course I forgive you.”
That was it. No questions. No rebuke.
Mercy poured out all over me in the time when I deserved so much worse.
In that moment, though my sins were as scarlet, and my husband’s heart had been shredded up by my sin, the cross covered us both. My husband became a living, breathing picture of Jesus Christ when he had every reason to react in hurt and storm off in an angry tirade.
The glory of all Christ came to accomplish was reflected right there in that room before my eyes. I was/am thankful for the forgiveness my husband offered me.
I was once again thankful for the forgiveness Christ offered me.
And I am grateful that despite our brokenness—NO—through our brokenness, “he show[s] the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us…”
…even when mercy is unthinkable in our own minds.
You may also see me linking up with these lovelies:
Testimony Tuesday with Holly
#RaRaLinkup with Kelly http://purposefulfaith.com/
Woman 2 Woman with Meredith
Three Word Wednesday with Kristin http://www.kristinhilltaylor.com/
#TellHisStory with Jennifer Dukes Lee http://jenniferdukeslee.com/
#LiveFreeThurdsay with Suzanne Eller, http://tsuzanneeller.com/
Coffee for Your Heart with Holly
http://arabahjoy.com/ — Grace and Truth
Fellowship Fridays, http://equippinggodlywomen.com/