The school year has finally wrapped up around here! It’s amazing to me how tired I am when summer break starts. I am usually ready for routine pretty quickly. This year, I decided it is time for me to count all of God’s great mercies and blessings. Lamentations 3:22-23 says, “Because of the Lord’s faithful love we do not perish, for His mercies never end. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness!” God’s mercy is new every morning. This summer I am looking for evidence of how he is moving.
Merriam-Webster’s dictionary defines mercy as, “compassion or forbearance shown especially to an offender or to one subject to one’s power; also: lenient or compassionate treatment.” I have heard preachers say that grace is giving people a gift they don’t deserve (Jesus), but mercy is not giving them what they do deserve (an eternity in hell). I believe the mercies of the Lord are much more than that. I think mercy is related to salvation, but I also think the Father extends mercy in more ways than just not condemning me to hell. The Hebrew word most often used for mercy is hesed, which means lovingkindness. I think God in His mercy knows we do not deserve a relationship with Him, yet he shows His love for us in ways that are genuine and unique to who we are. What are some ways that the lovingkindness of the Lord is evident in your own life?
I have the privilege of working in an amazing school district with the best teachers in my state. I love working with students and seeing Aha! moments every day. It is one of my favorite things in the world. That being said, I really enjoy having summers off with my own children. I have the two coolest kids on the planet. This summer I will be spending time in the sunshine with my family and loving every minute of it! The time I get to spend in the sunshine with my family will be one way that God will show his great mercy to me.
Give me SPACE
Another one of the mercies that I am praising the Lord for is space. I am an elementary inclusion teacher, but this spring I was also a student finishing my Master’s degree. This school year I didn’t have time for one extra thing because of homework! The walls were closing in on me every time I sat down to rest. Psalm 18:19 says, “He brought me out to a spacious place; He rescued me because He delighted in me.” I am excited because God is making space for me and my relationships with my sisters in Christ this summer. God has blessed me with some pretty amazing women who constantly encourage me to be who God created me to be. Fewer obligations on my time and in my life mean that I can focus on loving others well.
In view of Mercy
Romans 12:1 – 2 says, “I appeal to you, therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” In light of all that God has given me, I am called to a few things. One is to offer my body as a living sacrifice. I want to give back to the creator that has shown me mercy. I want to spend time in the sunshine with my family, make space for my friendships, and do it all for the glory of God.