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"Mercies in Disguise"

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"Many are the afflictions of the righteous, But the LORD delivers him out of them all."


Psalm 34:19

After our Connect group last night where we were thanking God for little things God has done in our lives to remind us how big He is, I remember a few years ago now learning the night before having a heart procedure that the hospital I was having it done in didn't offer jello which I don't often eat but really like and instead offered pudding instead which I like even better. That might not seem like a big deal to you but when you are already overwhelmed by the anxiety of having heart surgery that little bit of information to me was simply God's mercy in disguise.

Whether you realize it or not, every day God is working on our behalf. Much of the time we simply aren't aware of the thousands of little things God does to bless our lives and to show us just how much He loves and cares for us. I remember the day I was having my heart procedure performed we had early morning prayer at our church that day. Knowing I needed this time before the Lord and the prayers of people I love, even though I was exhausted from a lousy night of sleep, I went and as I prayed and was prayed for I felt the comfort of God in a very profound way that morning. My anxious heart turned to a heart of calm and peace as I placed yet once again my life into His hands. Or was it I became aware I was safe in His hands? I'll let you decide.

As I was driving home from prayer that morning thanking God for all the little reminders that He was with me, a song came on the radio that I had listened to hundreds of times before, a song that still brings me comfort but on that particular day it took on a whole new meaning for me as it became personal in that it was me who was in the midst of my own trial where as at other times I was reminded of those that I love and the trials they were having to endure in this life. Usually as the song played it helped me identify with others and to pray for them. On the day of my heart procedure the song became so fitting for me. Maybe today you are facing your own trial. If so my prayer is that this song takes on new meaning for you too. The word's go like this,

"Blessings"
Laura Story

We pray for blessings, we pray for peace
Comfort for family, protection while we sleep
We pray for healing, for prosperity
We pray for Your mighty hand to ease our suffering
And all the while, You hear each spoken need
Yet love us way too much to give us lesser things

'Cause what if your blessings come through rain drops
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You're near
What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise

We pray for wisdom, Your voice to hear
We cry in anger when we cannot feel You near
We doubt your goodness, we doubt your love
As if every promise from Your word is not enough
And all the while, You hear each desperate plea
And long that we'd have faith to believe

'Cause what if your blessings come through rain drops
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You're near
What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise

When friends betray us
When darkness seems to win
We know that pain reminds this heart
That this is not,
This is not our home
It's not our home

'Cause what if your blessings come through rain drops
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You're near

What if my greatest disappointments or the aching of this life
Is the revealing of a greater thirst this world can't satisfy
What if trials of this life
The rain, the storms, the hardest nights
Are your mercies in disguise (song ends)

Being born into a world of sin and death because of the fall of Adam and Eve you and I don't know a life without trials, they touch us all. With all the voices clamoring for our attention daily, its easy to get distracted from what matters most in life and so God capitalizes on them all to reveal Himself to us. As C.S. Lewis once said, "Go whispers in our pleasures, shouts in our pain, as pain is God's megaphone to rouse a deaf world." I know its true for me but I have come to know too that the shout of God in the midst of my pain doesn't bring me fear but comfort and peace and joy.

If there is one thing I can tell you today, loved one, from first hand experience as I have gone through my own trials in this life, if you look close and listen carefully you will discover for yourself that the trials of this life really are the mercies of God in disguise. I remember as that song played that morning tears were streaming down my face because I knew in that moment my life has been blessed beyond measure by God's mercy and grace. Think of all the songs out there and God had it playing at the exact moment I was driving home. Coincidence or providence? For me it was divine providence! I love the words of the song as it concludes when Laura sings,

"Cause what if your blessings come through rain drops
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You're near

What if my greatest disappointments or the aching of this life
Is the revealing of a greater thirst this world can't satisfy
What if trials of this life
The rain, the storms, the hardest nights
Are your mercies in disguise"

I remember living this song out as the week prior to my heart procedure was one of the most disappointing of my life as my trials seemed to mount and the news kept going from bad to worse and yet in the midst of each trial God came to my rescue and I got to see with my own eyes that the storms, the hardest nights are God's mercies in disguise. I was sharing at church yesterday and at our Connect group last night the best thing that has ever happened with regard to my personal health was the news that I was suffering from congestive heart disease. God has never been more near and dear to me than He is now.

Mercies in disguise, Yes! My trial has brought me closer to God where I am learning to trust and rely on Him all the more. Through my own trials God has revealed to me His love and care and how the trials of this life are in fact His mercies in disguise! If you are facing a trial today may you too know they are His mercies in disguise. Remember, we cant stop the trials from coming our way just like we cant prevent the mercy of God from being poured out on us either.


"Oh, give thanks to the LORD, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever. Oh, give thanks to the God of gods! For His mercy endures forever. Oh, give thanks to the Lord of lords! For His mercy endures forever: To Him who alone does great wonders, For His mercy endures forever; To Him who by wisdom made the heavens, For His mercy endures forever; To Him who laid out the earth above the waters, For His mercy endures forever; To Him who made great lights, For His mercy endures forever-- The sun to rule by day, For His mercy endures forever; The moon and stars to rule by night, For His mercy endures forever. To Him who struck Egypt in their firstborn, For His mercy endures forever; And brought out Israel from among them, For His mercy endures forever; With a strong hand, and with an outstretched arm, For His mercy endures forever; To Him who divided the Red Sea in two, For His mercy endures forever; And made Israel pass through the midst of it, For His mercy endures forever; But overthrew Pharaoh and his army in the Red Sea, For His mercy endures forever; To Him who led His people through the wilderness, For His mercy endures forever; To Him who struck down great kings, For His mercy endures forever; And slew famous kings, For His mercy endures forever-- Sihon king of the Amorites, For His mercy endures forever; And Og king of Bashan, For His mercy endures forever-- And gave their land as a heritage, For His mercy endures forever; A heritage to Israel His servant, For His mercy endures forever. Who remembered us in our lowly state, For His mercy endures forever; And rescued us from our enemies, For His mercy endures forever; Who gives food to all flesh, For His mercy endures forever. Oh, give thanks to the God of heaven! For His mercy endures forever.

Psalm 136:1-26

I LOVE YOU!


"Do The Hokey Pokey"
"Everyone's Got A Story To Tell"