“I forgive you, Kandace, and I delight to offer you mercy.”
I will never forget when these very words came crashing through my deceived heart.
Words hard to bear……. but the eyes that were staring into mine as they were being spoken had compassionate fire in them.
I could not look away.
I was given a glimpse of the eyes of Jesus and I was undone.
As my husband held me close, I crumbled.
My life was and will be forever changed by these eleven words.
Because these words had power in them.
Enough power to cut through and divide my soul and spirit.
My soul was a foolish mess.
The choice I made to look outside of Christ for something only He died to give me left me questioning everything…..
-including my salvation.
It was not the first time I had made such foolish choices but it was the first time I had met such mercy.
A mercy many are starving for but sadly have not found.
The kind of mercy that baffles the mind and is impossible to believe unless united by faith.
I chose to believe Nathan that day. I chose to believe him with everything in me.
That belief proved to keep me alive on days the enemy was lurking and shouting,
“You are a scorned woman!”
The evidence was stacked up against me.
How could I disagree?
How could I have a defense?
I couldn’t. And I didn’t. At least not with my behavior.
My behavior convicted me.
My consequences severe.
Truth be known, I don’t like writing about this.
Two and a half years and I still can’t get through it without tears.
No longer tears of shame but tears of profound gratefulness.
The Lord loves me enough to discipline me……and you too.
He loves us enough not to write us off.
You know, like people do……when we screw up in a massive way.
Not the Lord.
His love is too stubborn. He paid too high of a price to give up on us.
He’s not fooled about our true identity even when we behave in ways that do not reflect it.
But there will be consequences. Because He loves us.
“For those whom the Lord loves He disciplines…….” Hebrews 12:6a (NASB)
“All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteous.” Hebrews 12:11 (NASB)
This is severe mercy.
And He delights to give it to us…….even when He knows it will cause us sorrow.
Being offered the gift of mercy does not come through gritted teeth that can hardly mutter the words, “I forgive you.” This is not mercy.
Mercy is visible. It’s tangible-you can taste it, feel it and breath in its healing aroma.
It’s received by faith.
The truly repentant will not demand it, think they deserve it or be unchanged by it.
Mercy is a game changer for both the giver and the receiver.
It opens wide the doors of Heaven and pours out more blessing than one heart can contain.
And then it spills over……..and over……and over.
This is the mercy that met me on a day when all I could see was darkness.
It’s the same mercy that’s still being offered by a God who loves us.
It’s the same mercy that can flow through us should we yield to it in offering it to another.
Painful yes…..but only for a little while. I promise.