2 Samuel 24:14 NLT
“I’m in a desperate situation!” David replied to Gad. “But let us fall into the hands of the Lord, for his mercy is great. Do not let me fall into human hands.”
I grew up with the phrase “A bad decision is better than no decision” ringing in my ears. Either parents or school burned this into my consciousness. I get the point that to prevaricate is in no one’s interest. Yet, bad decisions can lead to long-term difficulties, as Adam and Eve discovered. Still, despite their disobedience, humanity was to enjoy the fruit of God’s mercy. Jesus, the second Adam, was incarnate and recovered humanity’s lost relationship with God.
Each of us has a past, and that past will have events we are ashamed of. Every day we, like Adam and Eve, struggle to maintain our obedience to God. However, the wonderful news is that we have fallen into the hands of the Lord and are beneficiaries of God’s mercy. This is undeserved forgiveness in place of legitimate punishment. It is something worth pondering, for we are not treated as offenders.
You and I cannot change the past; however, we can influence both our present and our future. The shadows of the past do not need to haunt us. We can find forgiveness and acceptance in God. We can choose to learn to live differently going forward. We can leave the baggage from our past behind.
Mercy is our opportunity to take hold of freedom. Regardless of decisions taken, your own as well as those that others have knowingly and unknowingly imposed upon you, God places within your gift the ability to determine how you live in this present moment and all those moments yet to come.
QUESTION: How will you choose to benefit from mercy?
PRAYER: Thank you for the rich freedom from self-recrimination and inner angst available to me through stepping into your merciful hands. May I also extend the gift of mercy to others in my own heart and mind.