At the risk of sounding redundant, there is but ONE Faithful and True. As we love and are loved by those who touch our lives, (our friends, our families, our pastors and teachers) it doesn't take long to figure out that the ones we love most in all the world are also the same who have the greatest capacity to disappoint us, to break our hearts. It would be so easy then to become hardened and what a terrible, terrible shame that is. How do we find a healthy medium of unconditional love? We begin by setting our eyes heavenward and upon the One who calls Himself "Love".
No matter where we are today, whether crawling desperately through the clutches of heartache or deep soul pain, or dancing care-free through a most blessed season of life, one thing remains true; We are, each and every one of us, in need of mercy and grace. The state of being we find ourselves in holds no bearing on that truth. We all need mercy. We all need grace. It is our common bond.
It is quite normal for us to seek out our most trusted friends when we are in need of a shoulder to lean on or when we wish to simply share our joys. And those of us who have family that we can call or lean upon at any hour are very fortunate. But regardless of the number of loved ones in any one person's life, the need remains. We are all in need of mercy and grace.
It's a great and wonderful thing to believe in such things as healing and deliverance, signs, miracles and wonders. In fact, the Word of God states quite plainly without room for misinterpretations that without faith, it is impossible to please God. However, to whom or what are we placing our faith or confidence? The Word of God also states plainly that those things follow those who follow Christ. Where are we keeping our eyes focused?
Hebrews 4:16 Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
In the fifth chapter of his gospel, John reiterates the story of the lame or "impotent" man who lay beside the pool of Bethesda. He lay there waiting for an angel to show up. But the angel who showed up at that pool to stir the healing waters showed up there only once per year. And when that angel did finally show up, people crowded the pool. The man was not only disappointed by the people around him, but he was disappointed even by an angel. Yet he lay there, all that time, thirty-eight years old, and he waited. He hoped. He believed. He relied. But was he relying upon people and angels and healing waters? Did he unknowingly set his own self up to be disappointed?
Who should show up on the scene but our own Faithful and True? What a lesson for us to learn! How many years of freedom could the man have experienced if he'd just gone first and foremost to the throne of grace? What troubles did he endure needlessly? But he didn't go there first. His story does not change. We do not get the impression in that story that God added years to his life to make up for those in which he was bound. We have no reason to believe that he got a chance to relive those years.
But it's never too late to take up our beds and walk, to walk in mercy and in grace with what days we have left. And it is never too late to thank God that we were held through the years it took us to finally turn our eyes away from the world and firmly upon Christ.
Let us love our friends, our families, our neighbors, and yes, our selves. Let us weep with those who weep and rejoice with those who rejoice. But first and foremost, let us go boldly before the throne of grace. And as much as we may feel needed when loved ones rely on us as well, it is our duty to lead them also to the throne.
Thereupon that very throne sits The Faithful and True, The I Am, waiting so patiently, yet so eagerly for us to finally come to Him with our every need. There is no end to the mercy and grace He is willing to extend freely to us. And yet, we find it easier to go to our loved ones, to those whose advice we consider to be wise, to those we believe hold the keys to our healing and/or happiness.
Let us not wait for someone to come along and stir the waters on our behalf. Let us no longer wait for Jesus to show up. Rather, let us run with all our strength, with all our hearts, with everything that we have in us, and let us cry out boldly: Faithful and True, the One, the Only Son of God and Son of Man who is familiar with all my needs, who searches my heart and leads me faithfully through both valleys and mountains, victories and defeats, good times and bad -- here I am. And I am in need, in need of mercy, in need of grace.
May the Lord our God pour out for us overflowing rivers of mercy and grace. May we feel the hand of God holding ours throughout all our days, leading and guiding us in all truth. God bless you. God keep you. God make His face to shine gloriously upon you. Amen.