When you don’t experience God’s grace first hand you don’t know how to pass it on, all you see are rules and that’s all you have to share.
Nehemiah embodied the idea of Christ stepping into our lives. Without Christ coming as our ‘Nehemiah’ to show us how, provide for us, and lead us to build where there are ruins, our lives are a mess. We wouldn’t be able to do the work. And just like 2 Corinthians 1 tell us, because Christ has done this for us in the same way that Nehemiah stepped in for the people of Israel, we can then turn around and embody it for those we have in our influence. Our children get to experience the grace of God through our relationship with them. Not rules, if we understand God’s grace…. Daniel also is an example to all of us Nebuchadnezzars who are proud and not seeking after God. Our ‘Daniel’ comes to mediate between us and God and introduces us to the grace that can set us free.
My mothering can be a reflection of the unnecessary mercies of a God who relishes and proclaims his goodness in the details of our lives. As I scoop a dollop of whipped cream for dessert and put it on a pretty dish instead of a plain one – I am reflecting my maker. I can do that by placing splashes of color all over my veranda in flower pots and adding stringed lights above to create a welcoming glow as darkness hits.
God‘s mercies are surrounding me every day. Spiritually he throws splashes of colour to brighten days and gives hope where my focus has blurred in the midst of less than stellar circumstances. He piles unnecessary mercies on me and mine, completely undeserved.
Unnecessary mercy. Think about that. He doesn’t have to be so generous. He’s God and he gets to do what he wants and yet he is willing to step down and heal a man’s son (Mark 9:14-27), fill a boat to overflowing for some fisherman (Matt 5:4-6), bring a brother back from the dead for the family (John 11:1-44), have a fish spit out a coin so the men can pay their taxes(Matt 17:24-27)….. He even gave prophetic revelation to and materially blessed a godless king like Nebuchadnezzar…. unnecessary mercies!
Do you embody the mercy of God for your family? We can all do this in different ways. But does the ‘why’ you do all you do to make things special for those around you sprout from your own experience and acknowledgement of the mercies God gives you each day? Nothing is neutral. The more your Bible takes hold of your life The more you realize this fact. Every single thing you do and decision you make is a result of your belief system. The deeper your knowledge within your belief system the more it affects even the most basic and mundane daily choices.
The reality of ‘unnecessary mercies’ has popped into my mind so often in the past couple of months. The fact that I have been made holy, blameless, and above reproach is a huge mercy in itself, but then… there’s a last minute ‘Click and Collect’ order available for just 2 hours later during Covid insanity; An unnecessary mercy! A prayer for a specific hard request is specifically answered the next day; An unnecessary mercy! I could have had to learn to wait and trust, but was given a beautiful unnecessary mercy to keep my spiritual strength up.
We have a tremendous opportunity to share unnecessary mercies here in North America. We live in a land of plenty and are surrounded by excessiveness. We are filled to the brim and overflowing with material riches. These are our earthly tools we can use to share our spiritual comfort. It’s easy to create a home that’s cozy and inviting. Unnecessary to decorate? Of course! Just like so many unnecessary things God does for you. Pretty dishes, flowers, real whipped cream, trips to the shore, candles lit, a card sent etc. So many chances every day to share the reality of God’s unnecessary mercies with others. That comfort that you’ve been given by God in your hard times is the fuel given to you to turn around and imitate and embody that same comfort to those all around you in their difficulties (2 Corinthains 1:3-7).
We all don’t reflect God’s mercy the same way. We all have our own personalities which will show through in how we go about getting it done. But how do you embody the unnecessary mercies of God for your family? Are you?!
I grew up in a home where that was done by using pretty plates, cozy decor all through the home, cookies ready after school, candles, drives through the country ending with an ice cream cone… and in many ways we continue that same legacy in my home. But kids don’t understand the value of it until much later, in their own homes. We don’t truly treasure the mercies until we realize how much we need them. The more I come to understand who God is the more I appreciate any mercies He sees fit to send me.
Take a look around you. Notice your mercies today… then share!!!