Signposts: Daily Devotions

Tuesday, February 3

The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.
—Psalm 103:8

Of all the verses in the psalter, this one is the most comforting to me. I think I really know what the psalmist means about God’s mercy and steadfast love. I have lived a wonderfully full life on many levels, and I have made enough mistakes and bad decisions to know very well God’s mercy and graciousness.  That knowledge is now the foundation for my life. 

What about you? Have you had similar insights? Have you thought back on your life, no matter what your age, and realized how much “mercy” God has shown you?  I am not talking here about the things we usually refer to as “blessings.” I am not talking about family, friends, loving relationships. I am talking about messing up and then being restored to balance, or getting in trouble and still being accepted and loved.

That is what God’s mercy and steadfast love mean to me. They are not something we earn, and THAT was hard for me to realize. They are not deserved, and that was quite a revelation. God’s mercy and steadfast love simply ARE. We can rely on our own resources, achieving success and proving our worth for quite a while. That’s what I did, and I thought things were going pretty well.

But when I finally gave that up and admitted I was at my wit’s end, the most amazing thing happened. I was given, through the grace of God, an awareness of mercy and steadfast love like I never dreamed possible. I am thankful beyond words that I finally broke open enough to accept this gift of incalculable proportions.

Thank you, dear God, for your mercy and steadfast love that have given me new life. Amen.