WEEK 1, DAY 7: MERCY
Scripture Reference: Mark 7:24-37
I have watched my father battle numerous illnesses. I had witnessed multiples surgeries and intense rehabilitative therapies in the last 19 years. Watching a loved one endure any hardship is challenging. And this was no exception. During the last few years I had questioned the purpose of such prolonged suffering my dad endured. I’ll admit I had allowed the sadness for my dad’s illness to entangle my heart with bitterness. I was not only seeing my dad suffer but I was witnessing my mom, his primary caretaker, become exhausted. I questioned; why can’t our family seem to move beyond this critical cycle?
Prayer for Mercy
I received a text from my mom one afternoon explaining that dad had a temperature and she would keep me posted on his condition. After he was admitted into into the hospital his health took a critical turn. As I drove to the hospital, I plotted out how I would get the information we needed to make the best next decisions. I reflected, that in the last two decades, I have learned the language and protocol of health care much more than I would have liked. Also I did what I always do, out of concern for my father. I prayed that God would align my words with His will and promises. I prayed for my father’s pain to cease and for God to provide for my parents mercy in their time of need.
God assures us in to “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths (Proverbs 3:5-6).” I confessed, out loud, that I did not want my dad to suffer. And yet, I knew that my understanding had to intersect with God’s guidance.
Faith in Action
As his health grew worse and they transferred him to the ICU. I was so down and felt very hopeless. I was thinking God what can I do in this bleak time that I haven’t already tried? He reminded me of a scripture in 1 Thessalonians 2:13. “And we also thank God constantly for this, that when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men but as what it really is, the word of God, which is at work in you believers.” In that verse God reminded me that believing is more than what I thought. It is also about what I do to live out that belief.
The Look of Mercy
As my dad lay there, unaware of his surroundings, I spoke to him. I said; “Daddy, I am going to read scripture out loud because I believe God is reminding me that His word has to be at work in us.” Immediately I began to read the scriptures out loud. A nurse came into the room and said that she heard what I was saying and wanted to be in our room because she was a believer. Within another 5 minutes, another nurse came in. She shared that she had once suffered with chronic pain but had received healing. She told me that God used her experience with chronic pain to direct her to become a nurse. After that, a third nurse joined us. She stated that our conversation gave her the chills.
Even though I had been quietly reading the scriptures out loud to my dad. It was obvious that God’s message was being carried out of that room. I was in awe that in less than ten minutes God brought four people into a deeper connection. God’s Word became vital action by giving them utterance. In my heart, it was as if God said; did you know that mercy could look like that?
— Bridget Kerht-Groce, Christian Family Radio
Take time to contemplate:
- Look for someone that is enduring a long trial and ask God to show you a way you can comfort and provide for them. Let them know, as you do what God asks, that it is His provision that you get to extend His mercy.
- Tell someone today a way that God ministered to you mercifully—extending God’s story of mercy confirms, in us, His glory on earth.