In an uncertain world, there’s an undeniable hope in God’s love and mercy. An unshakable anchor for our soul.
I remember the day well.
A frenzy of emotions strangled my spirit. Tears soaked my face. Joining my husband on the screened-in porch, I fell into a chair and conveyed the frustration.
“Mike, I told the Lord to please end the madness. To stop the hard stuff from happening. I can’t handle anything else. I can’t take any more bad news. And if God’s allowing me to go through harsh circumstances for writing material, then I have enough. I’ll gladly write about fluffy things. Fun, happy, and smiley parts of life.”
In ministry for over thirty years, Mike was sensitive to my hurting heart. “Karen, it’s difficult to try to understand why bad things happen. The Lord already knows what you’re thinking and feeling. But He wants you to tell Him. To cry out to Him.”
After I bared the rawness of my soul, the words seemed to hang in the warm summer air as if I could reach up and grab them.
God’s Mercy for Hopelessness
What caused the sense of hopelessness?
That year, my sister-in-law received a cancer diagnosis. Amy was expected to undergo treatment and be fine (and she is fine today). Yet, for me, it became a breaking point.
Also, thinking back, I never completely processed a fair amount of sad events. So, let’s rewind the film. Because for four consecutive years, significant loss plagued my story. Several marketing jobs I held, abruptly ended.
And we lost both my father-in-law and my father within six months of each other. How could this be? No dads?
Our family, fatherless during holidays and special events. My children no longer with grandfathers in their lives. In addition, our grandchildren missing out on knowing great grandfathers.
Despair and heartache rode the coattails of tragedy.
God’s Mercy for Heartache
Now, 2020 has brought us more loss and a pandemic no one signed up for.
Many of us grapple to find peace and not lose heart. Maybe we feel the sting of life’s slap in the face. Perhaps deep and long-lasting peace seems far away.
Back then, I fnally arrived at a defining moment when the Lord showed me a surpising truth in Scripture. And the Lord gently nudged me to remember.
Sure, I wanted the madness, loss, and hard parts of life to cease—I do now. Yet I’ve discovered a surprising truth about God in the midst of the darkness.
God’s Mercy in a Suprising Truth
“The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to and end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” Lamentations 3:22-23 ESV
Never defined by Google: “At no time in the past or future; on no occasion; not ever; not at all.” Synonyms include: “Not at all, certainly not, not for a moment, under no circumstances, on no account, no way, not on your life, not in a million years, when pigs fly, when hell freezes over.”
These terms are used in serious and humorous tones. “I’ll take my boyfriend back when hell freezes over.” Or, “She may forgive me when pigs fly.”
But in black and white, on the pages of God’s Word, it means so much more.
God’s Mercy Never Ceases
I went back and re-read verse 22 inserting synonyms for “never.”
The steadfast love of the Lord ceases when hell freezes over. The mercies of the Lord come to an end when pigs fly.
This will never, never, never, ever happen.
While life continues and I can’t stop bad things from happening, I hold on to the promise of good things…the best things that never end. God’s steadfast love. And God’s mercy.
Have you ever seen a pig fly?
Featured image and bottom image of pig by my son. Top image courtesy of my friend, Laura, river near her home in France. Middle image from our family trip to the beach. Photo designs and text done in Adobe Spark.
Read my article, God Says You’re a Keeper: Mercy Changes Everything.