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Archive for November, 2010

Mercies, Graces

In the summer of 1980 (I think), I took a couple of graduate courses at Bob Jones University in Greenville, SC.  In one of the Bible courses I took, the professor made a distinction that I have not since forgotten.

He said that mercy consists of that which we deserve that God spares us from.  Grace is that which we do not deserve that God bestows on us.

I’ve experienced a great deal of both in my life.  I was thinking tonight of  some recent occurrences.

In the department of mercy–mercies, if you will–I’m not sure that the things from which I’ve been spared recently were things I necessarily deserved.  But I definitely felt I was being shown the mercies of God when neither of our boys was injured in car crashes in recent weeks (Zach was in a collision which totaled our Buick Le Sabre; Gabe’s KIA Optima met up with a deer one dark October Saturday night.)  When I fell as a result of a stumble from stepping on a sweet gum fruit in Foster Park a couple of weeks ago, I came away with nothing more than a severely sprained ankle and a little damaged pride.  The mercies of not grieving over lost sons or broken bones are fresh in my heart and mind.

When I got home from work today, I checked the mail.  One envelope that came today contained a card with a large-denomination bill taped inside.  That gesture brought tears to my eyes and humble joy to my heart.  Someone listened to God, obeyed, and, in that, we were blessed and provided for…..a grace indeed.

These are the front-burner mercies and graces in my life.  I am quite certain that if I attend to the back burner, I will be amazed at the others I discover.

How about you?

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