Lamentations 3:22-23 The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; His mercies never come to an end they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.
I am a sinner. A big, fat hypocrite. I need grace. I need mercy. I need love. Without God to supply these, I am nothing but a constant failure! As a parent, I fail daily. I am constantly challenged by one of my children, and daily I fail. I lose my patience, don't listen, nag, argue, yell, get angry, lose my temper, etc.
Just today I LOST IT with this particular child. Now, his act was grievous and against someone smaller, but certainly I could have responded better! I was already angry at this child for poking along when others were waiting, and for basically telling me "no" when I asked him to do something....Oh, I was HOT! I was still angry at him for the way he treated me yesterday too!!! I think all of these things were thrown into the mix of frustration when I lost it with him.... not to mention the constant friction and frustration with circumstances in our life right now.... (no excuses here, I'm guilty).
In speaking with him later, I reminded him that sometimes we have to give up the right to be right. Let it go. Let go the need to have the last word. I reminded him that we have to practice grace and mercy. They don't come naturally, but are expected from God. It is an exercise that we must perform daily, and sometimes several times a day. I think we as Christians often think that we just are these things. We are full of grace and mercy... but that's just not true. Christ certainly was, but not us. We have it available to us through the Holy Spirit, but mercy, grace, love, faith, are all action words that we must do. In order to do it well, we must exercise those "love muscles" or "mercy muscles". And, unfortunately, it is a repetitive exercise!
How often are you able to "lecture" one of your children and not have it come back to bite you in the rear? For me, it is not often. I have not been practicing mercy for this child. I have not had new mercies every morning. Instead, I have kept a record of wrongs on hand to remind me just how challenging this child can be. I have not been practicing godly love toward this child either. I've gotten out of practice and need to continue building up my "mercy and love muscles". Fortunately, God gave me this child, so I would have many opportunities for more "reps"!
Thankfully, God's love and mercy muscles are built up as much as they can be! He is never fatigued, never weak, never out of practice. In fact, daily His mercy muscles are re-energized and ready to show me mercy again and again! That works out nicely for me since I mess up so frequently! ;) His love and mercy never run out! Oh Thank you Lord! I do not deserve it, but am so grateful! May I be a living example of your grace and mercy, especially to my children!!!