Unworthy of the least of His mercies…

When, in disgrace with fortune and men’s eyes,
I all alone beweep my outcast state,
And trouble deaf heaven with my bootless cries,
And look upon myself and curse my fate,
Wishing me like to one more rich in hope,
Featured like him, like him with friends possessed,
Desiring this man’s art and that man’s scope,
With what I most enjoy contented least;
Yet in these thoughts myself almost despising,
Haply I think on thee, and then my state,
(Like to the lark at break of day arising
From sullen earth) sings hymns at heaven’s gate;
       For thy sweet love remembered such wealth brings
       That then I scorn to change my state with kings.
(Sonnet xxix, Wm. Shakespeare)
 

We are none of us heroes.  Until “this mortal shall put on immortality” and we leave behind this weary world, we all have feet of clay. The apostle Paul called himself “less than the least of all the saints”, and Jacob besought Jehovah to bless him, though he was “unworthy of the least of all His mercies.”

The problem is, we innately feel that we deserve better than our current lot in life, as Shakespeare expressed. When good things come our way, friends reinforce this line of thinking. “You deserve the best!”  We are daily bombarded by the idea that we “need” more than we currently have. 

During this past Lord’s day, I heard a sermon that touched on Romans 1.  Those that God gave up on in judgement and allowed their personal lusts to destroy them failed in two core ways: failure to acknowledge and glorify the one true God as King and Creator, and failure to be thankful. OUCH!  Back down on my knees I go!

Further contact with the living water of the Word this week reminded me that our ingratitude is so often verbally expressed.  Isaiah said with fear and trembling when he saw the LORD high and lifted up in his holy temple, “Woe is me! For I am undone! I am a man of unclean lips…” (Is. 6) 

If anyone deserves the title “hero”, I would presume the self-sacrificial and boldly witnessing Apostle Paul would qualify. Instead,  Paul pours out his homage to Christ, and repeatedly claims to be both a servant of  Christ and of his fellowman.
On the days when I am tempted to be drowning in my personal struggles as wife of a chronically ill husband, I need this truth. God is good. He has been abundantly merciful to me, and I DON’T deserve even the tiniest of His mercies.  Without His love and and saving grace, I would be a child of hell, bent on pursuing whatever fulfills all “my” needs.  Whatever He brings to me this day, I am Christ’s servant. Lord, I believe this. Help my unbelief on days when I don’t see through the mirror of your Word.

 

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