March 28: mercy (Judges 4-5; Psalm 39 & 41; 1 Corinthians 13)

I woke up this morning with these words on my mind:

I can see clearly now, the rain is gone,
I can see all obstacles in my way
Gone are the dark clouds that had me blind
It’s gonna be a bright (bright), bright (bright)
This is not a favorite song of mine. I don’t ever remember these lyrics being on my mind. And it was dark outside when I awoke. So, my next thought was why are these the words that are on my mind (sometimes I think I think too much!).

Today’s scripture tells the story of Deborah, a judge who led the people to overcome the threats from the Canaanites. How the glory of victory went to a woman (Jael) because the men lacked the courage to face the enemy. The New Testament reading is focused on the greatest spiritual gift, the gift of love. Faith, hope and love – the greatest of these is love. And then I read the two psalms – both are prayers during times of illness. As I read these psalms, I stopped on the phrase from Psalm 41:10. May you have mercy on me, LORD.

I am not feeling ill this morning. I am not facing any especially significant challenges today (that I know of yet), but I am a pastor. I am very aware of many who awake this morning and life is cloudy. Maybe you awoke and looked in the mirror and all you could see was what is wrong with your life. I’ve also known those days – just not today.

May you have mercy on me, LORD; raise me up… Not so I can attack whomever or whatever has placed a cloud over my day, but so I can call to account whatever is blocking the sun, the glory of God from my life today. The clouds will not have power over my life, not today. Because love always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

My prayer for you today is that whenever you look in the mirror you will see the mercy of God who gives you the grace and power to rise above the clouds and even remove the clouds. May this be a bright, bright sun-shiny day.

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