Are you bugged by bugs? Ants that invade picnics; flies that gather around the food; spiders that creep up a wall; crickets that chirp all night and moths that crowd around the porch light and get into the house when you open the door. Each and every one is an annoyance, and some of them are even dangerous. They are small and easily dispensed with. Many a bug has met a sudden demise on the bottom of my shoe.
And the Lord said, “I will cause all my goodness to pass in front of you, and I will proclaim my name, the Lord, in your presence. I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.” (Exodus 33:19)
One evening last summer, I sat down to do my daily Bible reading, and when I opened it up, there on the inside of the cover was a moth (see picture above). My first reaction was to grab my shoe, but just before impact I noticed the pretty colors. So then I got a magnifying glass, looked closer and discovered amazing beauty in this little pest. As I studied its symmetry with matching spots on both sides; the various colors in its wings; the soft fringe-like edges, and those strange eyes and antennae; it occurred to me that God put special care into the design of this one bug.
Have mercy on me, O God, have mercy on me, for in you my soul takes refuge. (Psalm 57:1)
How many people in your life are like a moth? They flutter and fly around in nonsensical patterns and annoy you. They flourish in indecision and constantly bang themselves up because of it. They deny the shelter and nourishment of God and His Word, only to expend their energy and life chasing after a light that is easily extinguished with the flip of a switch. We often cry out for God’s mercy for ourselves. But how often do we willingly show mercy to others? Unbelievers and shallow believers need our mercy, so they can experience God’s mercy.
On hearing this, Jesus said, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’ For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” (Matthew 9:12-13)
In the last two posts I wrote about anger and fear. Because our culture is overwhelmed with these things, I will address these subjects, a lot, over the next few months. But, today I want to draw your attention to those who don’t believe in God and those who are weak in their faith. God has put them in your life for a reason: that reason is mercy. Listen to them and observe them. Notice the details that God has adorned them with. Pray for them and let the Holy Spirit guide you to help them, so they, too, will know the Truth.
Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. (Hebrews 4:16)
God’s mercy is not for us alone. He gives to us and expects us to give to others. I did not squash the bug I found in my Bible, because God sent it to teach me. I pray that He will teach all of us and show us His unfailing love, so we may extend it to others.
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