Although my tears don’t flow as easily as they used to, I am reminded daily of God’s mercy. He sees my tears and shows me tender mercy to see me through grief.
“Praise the Lord!
Praise the Lord, O my soul!
I will praise the Lord as long as I live;
I will sing praises to my God while I have my being.
Put not your trust in princes,
in a son of man, in whom there is no salvation.
When his breath departs, he returns to the earth;
on that very day his plans perish.
Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob,
whose hope is in the Lord his God,
Who made heaven and earth,
the sea, and all that is in them,
Who keeps faith forever;
Who executes justice for the oppressed,
Who gives food to the hungry.
The Lord sets the prisoners free;
the Lord opens the eyes of the blind.
The Lord lifts up those who are bowed down;
the Lord loves the righteous.
The Lord watches over the sojourners;
He upholds the widow and the fatherless,
but the way of the wicked he brings to ruin.
The Lord will reign forever,
your God, O Zion, to all generations.
Praise the Lord!”
By the grace of God, I have just finished my first cycle (4 treatments) of the clinical trial in Seattle. They tested my tumor marker this week and discovered it had decreased over 50% after only 3 treatments! We are rejoicing over this mercy from the Lord! We are so thankful for everyones love, support, prayers, and help during this new season of life. We are truly blessed. I will have a CT scan after the next cycle, but they anticipate a good result.
The following hymn reminds me of the greater mercy I have been given by God the Father, through God the Son, and sealed by the God the Spirit. Because of His great mercy to me, I cannot be silent, and pray that the Holy Spirit grants saving faith to all who read this.
Thy Mercy, My God
by John Stocker, London, 1776
Thy mercy, my God, is the theme of my song,
The joy of my heart. and the boast of my tongue;
Thy free grace alone, from the first to the last,
Hath won my affections, and bound my soul fast.
Without Thy sweet mercy I could not live here;
Sin would reduce me to utter despair;
But, through Thy free goodness, my spirits revive,
And He that first made me still keeps me alive.
Whene’er I mistake, Thy kind mercy begins
To melt me, and then I can mourn for my sins;
And, led by Thy Spirit to Jesus’s blood,
My sorrows are dired and my strength is renew’d
Thy mercy is more than a match for my heart,
Which wonders to feel its own hardness depart;
Dissolved by Thy goodness, I fall to the ground,
And weep to the praise of the mercy I’ve found.
Thy mercy is endless, most tender and free;
No sinner need doubt, since ’tis given to me;
No merit will buy it, nor sin stop its course;
Good works are the fruits of its freeness and force.
The doors of Thy mercy are open all day
To the poor and the needy who knock by the way;
But those that bring cash in the mouth of their sack;
The rich and the proud, shall be empty sent back.
Dear Father, Thy merciful word I my all;
Thy promise supports me when ready to fall;
When enemies crowd, to cause doubt and despair,
I conquer them all by the spirit of prayer.
Thy mercy, in Jesus, exempts me from hell;
Of Thy mercy I’ll sing, of Thy mercy I’ll tell;
‘Twas Jesus, my Friend, when He hung on the tree,
That open’d the channel of mercy for me.
Great Father of mercies, Thy goodness I own,
And the covenant love of Thy crucified Son;
All praise to the Spirit, Whose whisper divine
Seals mercy, and pardon, and righteousness mine.
While I am rejoicing, I know that there are those reading this who are enduring a difficult season in their life. I pray that the following devotion, from Joni Eareckson Tada, blesses you in the midst of your pain.
“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven: … a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance.” (Ecclesiastes 3:1,4)
An old devotional book movingly says, “How can God dry your tears in the next world if you have not wept in this one?” The image of God tenderly wiping away your tears describes a loving and utterly compassionate moment in heaven between you and your Savior. Your earthly sorrows have a profound purpose in eternity: they are setting the stage for God to engage himself wholly and completely in your eternal comfort. No wonder David prayed in Psalm 56:8 for God to “… put thou my tears into thy bottle: are they not in thy book?” (KJV).
God will atone for every single one of your tears. First, the reason behind your suffering will be made plain as God reveals something so glorious in his purpose that it will completely suffice for all your hurt. Next, as God dries your tears, it will showcase the intimate, sweet affection of God toward you personally – much more so than if you never cried!
I’m not glorifying weeping, but I’m glorifying the God whose purpose will be exalted, and whose tender-hearted compassion will be glorified through your weeping. Soren Kierkegaard said, “In the language of eternity, the suffering that helped you to the highest, is certainly not useless. It is useless and unused only if you do not allow yourself to be helped by it to the highest.
When time comes for weeping, comfort yourself with these assurances from God’s Word. No tear will be wasted. Share today’s thoughts with a friend who is grieving or hurting. And don’t forget… bring Kleenex.
Lord, I am amazed that you have recorded in detail every time I’ve cried. Help me not to hide my tears. Help me also not to waste my sorrows, remembering they are aiding me for all of eternity.
-Joni Eareckson Tada
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.” (Romans 15:13)
Soli Deo Gloria,
July 16, 2011