Rebuked with Mercy

A few weeks ago I posted a quote from John Piper that really describes how this year has been for me. I have to say that again and again God has rebuked me with mercy, and this week has been no different.

Last week I wrote out a list of things that I was anxious about- it filled the entire page. It seemed like everything was crashing down on me. One situation loomed over my head in particular. I had made a huge mistake. I knew I couldn’t fix it. I knew I couldn’t solve it. Really there was nothing I could do and I knew it- that’s what made it so burdensome. And I knew all I had to do was make on phone call to ask for help and it would be taken care of. But in order to make the phone call, I would need to admit my mistake, and ask for help– perhaps burdening the person I needed to ask. In reality, I knew the burden was much larger to me than it was to the person who would help solve my problem. But I didn’t call. I didn’t ask for help. I just let it loom over my head and burden me and keep me awake at night thinking of how I could make it right.

I realized how often this is how I act with God. He is all powerful, all wise, all good. He does whatever He pleases. He doesn’t need anyone to help Him, He doesn’t need anyone to give Him advice, He doesn’t need anyone to give anything to Him, He doesn’t need anyone’s strength. He supplies all power, all wisdom, all needs, all comfort, all help. And yet I don’t turn to Him when I need His help. Sometimes it’s because I feel guilty because it’s my fault that I am in a certain situation. Sometimes it’s my pride and I don’t want to need help. Sometimes I think I should be able to handle it on my own. But every time this happens, God rebukes me with mercy. He comes to my aid and rescue in every situation, whether I recognize it or not. He helps me whether or not it’s my fault I am in a situation I can’t handle. He comforts me whether or not it’s my sin that is causing my pain.

I am reminded of three precious promises to cling to in moments like this.

1) I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. (John 15:5)

2) Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. (Hebrews 4:16)

3) As a father shows compassion to his children, so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear him. For he knows our frame; he remembers that we are dust. (Psalm 103:13-14)

Praise the Lord that he remembers that we are but dust!

FYI- I did make that phone call. I asked for help. And it was taken care of in 3 seconds. At the end of the call, which was less than 1 minute, I was in humble, thankful tears. I felt like I got slapped in the face with mercy. Why am I so foolish as to think that I need to do everything on my own? I hope one day I learn to accept that I am but dust. And I hope that I can learn to rebuke others with mercy as well.

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