Friday, August 21, 2015
Wrestling With My Brothers
Psa. 118:29 O give thanks to the LORD, for he is good,
for his steadfast love endures forever.
This is the doxology of the 118th Psalm. The Psalm is one in which we are reminded of the mercy of the LORD. We are to continually give thanks to the LORD. His nature is good and his ongoing love or mercy is extended to us for all of time. Along with the Psalmist this ought to make us rejoice day in and day out. God is good!
I have three big brothers and I’ve often been asked whether I was spoiled by them. I respond that they did not see fit to spoil me, but rather, to teach me to fight! They enjoyed wrestling and what I used to think was, picking on me. One of my brothers would take my hands and make me slap my own face — thinking this was quite funny. When wrestling (and of course I would be losing) — they would tell me to “ask for mercy.” I’ll be quite honest — I really didn’t know what they were talking about. What was mercy? But eventually I figured it out — it meant that I was ready to admit that my fate was in their hands and I was willing to submit. Now, albeit this was done quite reluctantly, but I learned that I could not win and I needed to ask for mercy.
God’s mercy is not quite this type of mercy, but then again there may be some similarities. We wrestle with God because we want our own way. We fight because we want things to turn out the way that we want them to turn out, even if it can lead to personal harm. Finally crying out for mercy the wrestling stops. It is in this moment that the steadfast love of the LORD can finally consume us and we may realize that life doesn’t have to be a wrestling match.
We are called to submit to the authority of God in our lives and when we finally do we understand the joy of the Psalmist. The mercy of God is extended to us and we experience his steadfast and ongoing love in our lives forever! God wants us to experience his goodness and his love, but at some point we have to cry “mercy.”
Lord, I give you thanks and praise for your steadfast and undying love. Amen.
Thank you to Nazarene Publishing House and Keri Mitchell for helping to create and publish Reflecting the Image. This is not a devotional book, but rather a collection of thoughts and stories which lead us in the direction of reflecting Christ. Click on the image to take you to the NPH bookstore.The book is also available in Kindle format on Amazon.com.