by Kathy Lay
This Week's Verse: Romans 9:16, "It does not therefore, depend on man's desire or effort, but on God's mercy." (NIV)
This past Monday evening was ridiculously hot, humid, and still. According to my husband, it was a perfect evening for a bike ride together. I grumbled a little (maybe more than a little) but I went because that's what wives do for husbands they love. Shane is a serious cyclist so I knew this was not going to be a leisurely pleasure cruise. He even broke out his padded cycling shorts for me. (He's sweet like that.)
Equipped with our water bottles, we started off towards the east. The plan was to ride towards the river bottom and at a certain point, I'd turn off and end up doing a ten-mile ride back to the house, while he'd go on straight and loop around for a 25 mile ride. He was merciful to me and knew what I could and couldn't do in the short amount of daylight we had left.
After we'd split, I continued down my road at a pretty good clip because I wanted to surprise him by beating him home. Cornfields on both sides, a blacktop road baked out with the heat, areas of steamy fog beginning to rise in patches, the smell of farm life...AH! I took a deep breath and just inhaled the moment.
Chris Tomlin's "Amazing Grace: My Chains are Gone" began to run through my mind and I found myself singing the chorus (as much as singing is possible being short of breath!): "My chains are gooooooone; I've been set freeeeee; My God, my Savioooooor has ransomed meeeeeee. And like a floooooood..."
And at that moment, what to my wondering eyes should appear but a sign along the road that read, "Flood Area Ahead." A flooooood area ahead.
Sisters, what are the odds of that? That I'd read a sign with the very same word that was resonating in my brain at exactly the same time? Call it coincidence if you want, but that kind of stuff makes my heart skip a beat and my tummy do a little flip. I felt God's presence right there with me among those stalks of young corn and oily spots of road.
"...And like a flooooood, His mercy reigns. Unending love, amazing grace." A flood of mercy ahead. What a gift; what a blessing.
No matter what else I encountered along the the rest of my journey--my bike ride, my week, the rest of my life--God promised me there would be a flood of mercy ahead to see me through. He makes the same promise to you.
Father, thank you for speaking to us in that still small voice, through such random things as a sign by a road. Thank you for flooding us with your mercy and for your amazing grace.
Consider the subtle ways God speaks to your heart. I Kings 19:11-13 tells of God speaking to Elijah not in the wind, earthquake, or fire, but in a gentle whisper. Be vigilent for His whisper as He speaks His promises into your heart. Rejoice in His flood of mercy.
Nehemiah 9:31, "But in your great mercy you did not put an end to them or abandon them, for you are a gracious and merciful God." (NIV)
2 Samuel 24:14, "'I'm in a desperate situation!' David replied to Gad. 'But let us fall into the hands of the Lord, for his mercy is great. Do not let me fall into human hands.'"(NLT)
Lamentations 3:22, "God's loyal love couldn't have run out, his merciful love couldn't have dried up. They're created new every morning. How great is your faithfulness! I'm sticking with God (I say it over and over). He's all I've got left." (MSG)