Mercy seems like such a simple word. It goes with Grace, right? Grace and Mercy! Well, I didn’t always really understand what that meant. I mean, I get the definitions. Traditionally, Grace is getting something that we do not deserve (for example, blessings). Mercy is not getting something negative that we do deserve (for example, punishment). So that means then that grace and mercy work together right? Well, they do, but it’s amazing how much more God has to show us each and every day….
My oldest daughter is 7. Her name is Makenna. She is the most tender-hearted, loving, kind and compassionate little girl ever. Yes, I’m partial. She can also have a little attitude about her even at the young tender age of 7 – so that should be fun in the next few years! The most awesome thing about her is that she is a child of the King – she accepted Christ last fall and was baptized on Christmas Eve. No greater joy!
Makenna came into the world two months earlier than planned. She is what we like to call our little miracle baby. From the beginning of my pregnancy with her I had problems. I will spare you all the details, because you probably wouldn’t understand them – I sure didn’t. The important point is that several of these “problems” would miraculously disappear. Now I’m talking about issues that would have the doctors call other doctors in and say “what do you say about this? This is what we read about but never see!” and they would take pictures and they would look up in journals and say scary things. So we prayed – I prayed, my family prayed, my friends prayed. And then we would go back to the doctor, and the issues would be gone. And the doctors would call other doctors in and pull up old pictures and say “clearly this was here before, why is it not there now? What could’ve done this?” And I knew. Prayers were answered. It was a miraculous process! Then in March 2005 I began to bleed. And freaked out. My then husband was out of town and (as God would have it), my mother was in town with me. Went to the hospital, was assured it wasn’t anything major, but they kept me overnight just to monitor things. Turned out to be a great thing. As they monitored the little baby, the heart rate would spike really high, stay there, then go back to normal. Would happen again 2 hours later. Then happen again a few hours later and so on and so on. I had ultrasounds every day. Fluid was gone yet my water hadn’t broken. Doctors again were baffled. They even drug tested me. Pretty sure all they found there was pizza, donuts and diet cherry pepsi addictions.
After more than a week of this routine, our precious specialist doctor entered the room on Friday, April 1 and said “I can’t do this anymore. We need to deliver this baby.” What? It’s too early! We aren’t ready! What if the baby is not ready? To which the response was “I don’t know what’s happening and I feel safer dealing with the baby outside here than in there. There will come a time when that little baby won’t have the strength to recover from whatever is happening. We need to do this.” So we prayed.
Makenna was born at 5:46 p.m. on Friday evening. We saw her and she was immediately taken to the NICU for specialized care. Upon leaving the operating room, the doctor said to my mom “we did a good thing here today.” The following days were a blur, but I will wrap this up neatly with she is a normal, healthy, fabulous 7 year old today with ZERO problems. Praise God.
I told you all of that to tell you this – the day after Makenna was born, my Mom leaned over my bed to kiss me and said “God showed us a lot of mercy with this one.” I was so taken aback. I knew the definitions of grace and mercy and I knew that mercy meant not getting something negative that I deserved. Was my mom saying I deserved for my baby to die?? I didn’t like that statement at all but I just nodded.
Here’s what’s beautiful, God has shown me SO much about his grace and his mercy the past few years that now I really, truly get it. He DID show me mercy that day. I hate to be blunt, but I didn’t deserve a baby at all, much less one that survived or that turned out healthy. Why? Because we don’t DESERVE anything. But through His grace and His MERCY, we are blessed. He makes us a new creation and gives us eternal life through His Grace. And we don’t live eternity in Hell because of His mercy. And now my mom’s statement to me is one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever heard her say. Oh how thankful I am for His mercy.
Grace and Mercy – opposite ends of the spectrum. Only one thing can bridge the two and make them make sense harmoniously….Jesus Christ.
“But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ— by grace you have been saved” Ephesians 2:4-5 ESV
- I Thought God Wouldn’t Answer THIS Prayer/ by Heather (gracefullwomen.com)
- What’s The Big Deal? I Mean You Have A Blog About It! (gracefullwomen.com)