The nightmares have started earlier than I imagined they would. Still a month out, and I’ve already had two back-to-school dreams. My teacher friend says no matter how many years you’ve been at this job, you’ll still have the Oh no, I’m standing in front of my class and I forgot to wear a skirt nightmare.
Exposed in front of everyone with a significant piece of wardrobe missing. That’s the worst.
I got to church Saturday night with that same nightmare feeling. Oh no, I’m totally lacking in mercy. It felt like forgetting to wear a skirt in front of a room full of students. Sometimes I find myself right in front of someone who needs a little mercy, a little overlooking of weakness, and I am naked.
In Micah 6:8 we read:
And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.
I hate when I can read what I should be right there in the Bible but I don’t seem to have it or can’t seem to do it. At all.
So I went into church saying, Lord, seriously. I have no mercy in me.
I found myself praying in the same style as my cute, 4-year-old nephew asks questions. Whereareyourtoys?Whereareyourtoys?Whereareyourtoys?Whereare yourtoys? Asking. Asking. Asking. Until he gets an answer.
Whydon’tIhavemercy?Whydon’tIhavemercy?Whydon’tIhavemercy?Whydon’tIhavemercy? I asked the Lord.
Here’s the thing about that kind of persistence in prayer: God loves it.
So I was in church, listening to some people tell about mission trips they had been on, when this one young woman told about her trip to China. She said, I learned I don’t have the ability to love people the way I need to, and I have to depend on God to do it.
That is me. I can’t seem to manufacture the mercy I need when I seem to need it. I cannot love the way I know I should.
Of course, you know what the last song in church was. A song about mercy. Yes. And the drums pounded that word right into my soul. Mercy. Mercy. Except the point of the song was that God never runs out. He’s full up with mercy.
And he is the provider.
Back to the nightmare of being half naked in front of God ‘n everybody. It’s not a dream.
It’s for real.
We’re lacking, and we know it.
So we pray.