Today’s scripture: Psalm 123 (NRSV) (The Message) (KJV) What might God be saying to me?

My thoughts (Vivian Wyatt):

Have mercy upon us, O Lord, have mercy upon us . . .

When I was a child, I was a bit willful. Being the youngest of five children, I was allowed to get away with things my siblings could not. I guess by the time I came along, my parents were tired of matching wits with headstrong children; whatever the reason, I was given much leeway.

As is often the case, when given way too much rope, I would often “hang” myself. That is, I would often take advantage of the liberty that I was given and get myself into a world of trouble. When my misdeeds became known and my parents were going to deliver my punishment, I would beg for mercy.

Much like, the psalmist says, a slave will look for mercy from his master, or like a maiden would look for mercy from her mistress, I looked for mercy from my parents; and more times than not, it was given.

But isn’t that the way? We do whatever we want and when the consequences of our actions are at hand, we ask God to have mercy on us. I remember a former pastor saying that God doesn’t give us what we deserve. We think so, sometimes, when trouble strikes, but that isn’t God punishing us; that is simply the consequences of our actions, the consequences of living in a fallen world, or the willfulness of others.

I love God for a myriad of reasons, but I thank God often for mercy.

Thought for the day: “Because of God’s great love, we are not consumed, for God’s mercies never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness” (Lamentations 3:22-23).

We encourage you to include a time of prayer with this reading. If you need a place to get started, consider the suggestions on the How to Pray page.

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