Tide of Mercy


The roofers came! After sixteen years of dreading the tropical downpours that relentlessly revealed new leaks, I can barely believe it will actually end. As if to emphasize the forces we’re up against, our rescuers were only able work the first day of the first week because, refusing to acknowledge the calendar’s dry season, pounding rains impeded reparation’s progress.

Don’t get me wrong; I both enjoy and admire the wild intensity of this hemisphere’s shifting moods – the tangible dark-purple pressure of the Miami sky coursing with celestial electricity. The booming release of floodwaters suddenly soaking and subduing our decrepit temporal civilization exhilarates me, and the hot caresses of the cleansed atmosphere’s revived sun fill my thirsty soul with awareness of the eternity He has placed inside our hearts.

But, unlike the flourishing vine that passionately envelopes our front window and door, I don’t thrive when exposed to the elements. Contrary to romanticized ideals, I can only take their direct touches in small, controlled doses. Call me soft, spoiled even, but my appreciation of the wild seems directly linked to my awareness of shelter from the storm.

This apparent paradox seems to me to penetrate all spheres of life:
The safer I feel in my marriage, the more comfortable I am attending to other relationships. The more I feel free to say no, the greater my desire to say yes. The less chaos there is in my life, the more joy I find in improvisation.

Staring at the damaged ceiling and waiting for the roofers to return, I know this solution is temporary. One hurricane could undo all their professional work, so I lift my eyes higher until my soul rests in the safe embrace of the One who calms the storm. “My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand.” (John 10:29) His Words are the safest shelter: “See, I have inscribed you on the palms of My hands; your walls are continually before Me.” (Isaiah 49:16)

“I will love You, O Lord, my strength.
The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer;
My God, my strength, in whom I will trust;
My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.

He also brought me out into a broad place;
He delivered me because He delighted in me.

For by You I can run against a troop,
By my God I can leap over a wall.

It is God who arms me with strength,
And makes my way perfect.
He makes my feet like the feet of deer,
And sets me on my high places.”
(Psalm 18:1-2, 19, 29, 32-33)

“Those who are planted in the house of the Lord
Shall flourish in the courts of our God.
They shall still bear fruit in old age;
They shall be fresh and flourishing,”
(Psalms 92:13-14)

Safe in His hands, let the tide of mercy rain, let it flood my heart again – let it rain.


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