Gathering Mercy

I love living in a place that has a change of seasons. Variety is good in my world; as one season drags on, I can count on knowing that “this too shall pass.” That concept is amplified for me because we also happen to make our living by the seasons, as farmers.

Planting season gives way to

a growth season which brings

a harvest season.

This year, however, the growth season was especially long. Because the summer was so hot and dry, we were uncertain if there would be a harvest season for our soybean crop.

I walked into a field of beans with my husband during the growth season to see if anything was, in fact, growing. There were lush, green, plants but the fruit of the plant–soybeans–was very sparse. The plants would need rain if they were to grow a crop for the harvest season.

Mercy became my word for that growing, summer season . . . MERCY: kindness in excess of what may be expected or demanded by fairness. (Webster)

When rain was in the forecast I prayed, “God, show a little mercy and bring the rain.”

We heard thunder in the distance, but no rain fell.

Time and time again, the rain passed us by.

No rain meant no crop of soybeans.

I was reading through portions of the Old Testament at the time. Isaiah is especially good at showing seasons of faith in the lives of God’s people.

Their season of abundance in trusting God gave way to

apathy and they fell away . . . then

God brought discipline until

they repented and returned to trusting Him again.

Isaiah 30 caught my attention with these phrases:

God, the Master, The Holy of Israel, has this solemn counsel: “Your salvation requires you to turn back to me and stop your silly efforts to save yourselves. Your strength will come from settling down in complete dependence on me. . . . But God’s not finished. He’s waiting around to be gracious to you. He’s gathering strength to show mercy to you. God takes the time to do everything right–everything. Those who wait around for him are the lucky ones.    Isaiah 30:15 & 18

God’s waiting?! What’s God waiting for?

Strength . . . not His strength, but ours.

Strength that comes from complete dependence on Him.

Strength enough to handle His MERCY.

The answer to my mercy prayer came in realizing “He’s gathering strength to show mercy to you, Shereen.”

Yes, we planned to harvest the smallest soybean crop ever.  We prepared, knowing “this too shall pass” . . . we could be done with this drought season, count our losses and move on. Farmers are realistic about weather, especially severe weather like drought.

But God was MERCIFUL . . . not in sending enough rain, but in growing enough soybeans without the rain.

In seeing God make soybeans grow by mercy, I’m learning to trust Him while I wait for His mercy to come through in other parts of my life that aren’t as certain as the seasons in the Midwest.

Are you in that sort of place today?

What is it that you are tired of waiting for?

What do you need strength for?

Believe with me today . . . that He is gathering strength to show us mercy!

*There is a song that became part of my cry for mercy this summer . . . Depth of Mercy by Selah. Let’s make it our prayer together today.

2 Replies to “Gathering Mercy”

  1. I loved your illustration. That will stick with me. Our God doesn’t have to do things the way we think He should; He is infinitely creative; and, of course, His ways are not our ways.

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