"If Only We Knew"
"For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are-- yet he did not sin. Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need."
Hebrews 4:15-16 (NIV)
Here is my prayer for you this Christmas week: May you catch even the slightest glimpse of the tender mercy of our Lord Jesus. For one drop of the Lord’s mercy is better than an ocean of the world’s comfort.
The marriage situation that seems impossible.
The finances that never balance.
The hope so deferred it makes your heart sick.
The anxiety over a child bent on a wayward path.
The diet you are sick of.
The broken promises of a friend.
The lack of true friends.
The constant messiness always distracting the peace you want in your home.
The impatience and frustration, anger and disappointment of losing it-- again.
If only we knew how deeply Jesus understands and cares for us. If only we could see the wonder of His love. The skies He paints, the flowers He blooms, the world He arranges just for us. The love letters He’s written to us throughout the Bible.
These are all mercies from Him.
The world will offer us comfort in the form of escapes. We escape to romance novels, movies, magazines, malls, chocolate, vacations, affirmations from friends. Not that any of these things are bad. They aren’t. But they are very temporary. They make us feel good in the moment, but that good never stays. We need more and more. Trying to fill our aching hearts with these things is like trying to fill an ocean with a tablespoon. It’s never enough. So we clench our fists and keep trying to find something to comfort us.
If only we knew how to stop clenching our fists so that we could open our hands and catch the drops of His tender mercy. If only we knew how to release the weight of trying to fix it all ourselves. If only we knew to stop in the midst of it all and whisper, "Jesus … help me." Just a whispered breath formed in the wholeness of His Name carries all the power and mercy and wisdom and grace we need to handle what we face.
If only we knew.
If you find yourself wanting to escape today into one of the world’s comforts, first invest some time in asking Jesus to help you, show you and direct you. Hebrews 4:15-16 reminds us of how approachable He is, how He understands our struggles and graciously offers us help and hope: "For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are-- yet he did not sin. Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need."
Specifically, ask Him to help you see and notice His tender mercies. Then you will see that, indeed, one drop of the Lord’s mercy is better than an ocean of the world’s temporary comforts.
Jesus, I don’t want to spend another day chasing after things that will never satisfy. Instead, I pray that I would begin to truly see how high and how deep is the love You have for me. Help me to catch the tender drops of Your mercy, and teach me how to fully embrace Your love. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
TRUTH FOR TODAY:
Psalm 100:5, "For the LORD is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations." (NIV)
Ephesians 3:17b-19, "… And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge — that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God." (NIV)