Have Mercy

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I was vacuuming my living room floor, under chairs, over rugs and between tables legs. The sound of the vacuum was loud and the canister heavy, it kept falling over if I moved to far away. Must clean – oh God clean my childrens hearts. AS I ran the vacuum over and over picking up dirt and hair and debris I prayed silently. my prayers these days for my son are so primitive, barely grunts and groans ascending from a dark and broken place sent out in a type of S.O.S morse coding, hoping they reach heaven. I know they do. sometimes that is how the spirit intercedes too. Lord, please, God I can’t, I need you… Lord help, save him, show him, speak to him, don’t let him, grace Lord, grant him favor, change his heart, don’t let him stray too far, bring him back please…cave man language. And then it came to me, whizzed past, rang through my ears, down into my heart piercing the darkness in one swift motion – Lord have mercy on my children for My sake. I can’t take it if they turn away, for my sake save them, for me lord have mercy on me and save my kids from the world and from themselves.

Perhaps he would look on me I thought, because of the covenant and the love he has for me, because of the relationship he has with me perhaps I could stand in the gap for them, isn’t that the story of Abraham? perhaps he would look on me and bless them. Spare me heartbreak and they could be benefactors? Not because they love God but because God loves me! not because I’m a saint, but a beggar. Is it right? is it selfish or wrong. Shouldn’t I be focused on praying for my kids? Press in? I just don’t know how lately there are no words and requests that formulate on the tip of my tongue. Everything I ask sounds redundant, already spoken, prayed and asked.

Noah’s family benefited and their lives saved because God found grace in Noah’s eyes. He was blameless and his seed was saved. Abraham’s seed blessed in Abraham, the lamp never went out in Judah on account of David’s covenant with God and Christ too because of his righteousness all the children can live. Throughout history this is not the exception it’s the rule. And yet in each and every family line there are losses too. Ham, Ishmael and Adonijah all turned away from God. at least there is hope.

In Matthew 15:21 Jesus encounters a Canaanite woman. The fact that she was of Canaan says so much. mostly that she was not an Israelite. She was not the people who worship the one true God, she worshiped many gods, she was a heathen, a gentile, a dog. She came anyway. “She cried out to him, saying Have mercy on ME o lord son of David! My daughter is severely demon possessed.”

She cried out in fear. In desperation, in love. What had she done that she cried out for mercy for herself? A vision came back to me of my own heart cry in fear, desperation and love. Lord for my sake save them.

Surely there was no covenant between this Canaanite and the Lord, no blessing passed down from Abraham, no bloodline from David, she was clearly a lawless beast. Still, she cried have mercy. If there had been a covenant, a blood line or a blessing would she even need mercy, or could she merely rely on the family inheritance. There was no real obligation that Jesus had to this woman and he makes it clear. She recognized him as both the Lord and the messiah he recognized her as “not one of us.”

She cried mercy for herself, on behalf of and because of her daughter, but even with the disciples urging him to help her so she would leave, he basically said to them she’s not my family, I didn’t come for Canaanites. Uggh and I can’t help but wonder if our children become God’s playing piece to lure us to his throne?

This is powerful are you ready? what did this mother do? did she leave, walk away rejected, angry hurling insults and spreading rumors in her pain?

NOPE. Then, the scripture says, “then she came and worshipped him saying Lord Help ME.”

This is so powerful. She is transformed, owning faith. He rejected her then she worshiped. Her worship came in the form of words, a cry for help. Sometimes those are the only words that come out, sometimes that is the greatest act of worship we can muster. Lord help me!

This got Jesus’ attention but he still said, no and worse he insulted her by calling her a little dog and exalting Israel in her eyes to children. This is where her faith was put on display. She didn’t defend herself; she didn’t cower, she didn’t argue; she agreed with him and added that Israel were not just the children, but the masters of Canaan, maybe the rightful land owners. This revealed her faith because she agreed with God. she agreed with all that God had done and promised and given to his beloved and then Christ said this: let it be as YOU desire. In this moment this wasn’t about her daughter, this was about her. A story of a woman being transformed by truth.

Maybe I need mercy for myself not for my kids. That is how the spirit was prompting me to pray. Maybe God wants to build my faith, transform my heart, circumcise my life and burn away the corrosive past in me.

Then there’s job. God wanted to do something in Job. He already was Blameless, upright, he feared God shunned evil and was the greatest in the east. He checked every box, what could be left? It wasn’t enough to save his kids. He knew what was required and he did what was necessary and it was credited to him as blameless, but it didn’t save his children.  He understood God’s expectations and walk in them flawlessly. But it didn’t speak to his children. All his goodness could not hold back the storm or hold up the house. They were crushed. They didn’t turn to God; they didn’t acknowledge their sin or make their own offerings they were held accountable even though their father did everything right and good.

God saw job and was even pleased with him, but did Job truly see God or was he merely a god to Job. Do I truly see God as one to converse with or as one to simply obey?

I think God wants a relationship with job, a friendship is suggested, so he tests with fiery ordeals and furnaces heated ten times. For a purpose.

Job did all the things; his obedience toward God was unmatched, but does he know me, does he see me does he speak to me? I hear God whisper.

Israel knew God for his acts, Moses knew God for his ways face to face God spoke to Moses, Abraham believed God and God called him a friend, David’s heart reflected God, these men had intimate relationships with a hidden God how?

It’s In the wilderness, the dark night of the soul, in the trials and fiery ordeals of life, the everyday ordinary burdens that wreck us it is there we see God, there we cry out help me, and there in the worshipful begging, he answers us. In the beginning of the tale Job made offerings for his children, but in the end, he prayed for his friends and he was accepted. He saw God, he worshipped God and he was accepted. Our words matter to God more than our sacrifices.

We have an offering made for us do we trust in it to save us? do we trust that trusting Christ’s offering brings us to our own trials and painful circumstance, our own mount to endure the affliction that God sets upon us so that we might know him and see him.

Its only through suffering we truly come to see God. If you are suffering perhaps God is testing you, if God is testing you perhaps it is because he has found you blameless and ready to be tested and if so get ready resurrection power and healing comes next!

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