Gracious and Merciful God

By Carey Helmink

The last time we were together, I was anticipating my daughter’s wedding. Today finds us on the other side of that wonderful celebration. So many special memories from that event. A couple of days before the wedding, I said to my daughter, “Let’s just assume that things will not go as planned, but we will roll with it and have a wonderful time anyway.” For some reason, she thought I was being negative 😊 but between you and me – this wasn’t my first rodeo and my experience tells me that things rarely go the way we planned.

Case in point.

Two days before the wedding I was running some errands. The weather was terrible, and I was stopped in the left-hand turn lane waiting to turn when a gal in the oncoming lane lost control of her car and hit me. All the air bags deployed and both cars were totaled but both of us walked away with just bruises. In that moment, of course my family and I were so thankful for the mercy and grace of God – for his protection and care for us. If that accident had gone another way, I would have been fine – what could be better than being with Jesus? But what a difficult thing that would have been for my family, and specifically for my daughter, two days before her wedding.

But here’s the reality. If that accident had ended differently, God is still a God of mercy and grace and protection. Our circumstances don’t change who He is – not in the least.

One of the things I love about worship is that it is an opportunity for us to remind ourselves and one another of who God is. If you have spent any time in the music arena, you may have heard this saying that I tell my students from time to time:

Practice makes permanent.

What I rehearse over and over becomes second nature. What I practice, what I tell myself repeatedly becomes my first response in every situation. In worship, we “practice” the attributes of God so that no matter our circumstances, we know, beyond a shadow of a doubt who He is and what His promises are. 

What attributes of God are you most thankful for today? Let Psalm 111 remind you of who our God is:

“Praise the Lord! I will thank the Lord with all my heart as I meet with his godly people. How amazing are the deeds of the Lord! All who delight in him should ponder them. Everything he does reveals his glory and majesty. His righteousness never fails. He causes us to remember his wonderful works.

How gracious and merciful is our Lord! He gives food to those who fear him; He always remembers his covenant. He has shown his great power to his people by giving them the lands of other nations.

All he does is just and good, And all his commandments are trustworthy. They are forever true, to be obeyed faithfully and with integrity. He has paid a full ransom for his people. He has guaranteed his covenant with them forever.

What a holy, awe-inspiring name he has! Fear of the Lord is the foundation of true wisdom. All who obey his commandments will grow in wisdom.

Praise him forever! – Psalm 111


One Reply to “Gracious and Merciful God”

  1. Such a great post. I enjoy reading these. Thank you for the time you all invest for His kingdom.


    Joyce Hurst
    Student Admissions & Student Services
    UNMC College of Dentistry
    4000 East Campus Loop South | Lincoln, NE 68583-0740
    402.472.1363 | fax 402.472.5290

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