What Mercy Means

Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. – (Matthew 5:7, NIV)

Great blessings belong to those who show mercy to others. Mercy will be given to them. – (Matthew 5:7, ERV)

“You’re blessed when you care. At the moment of being ‘care-full,’ you find yourselves cared for.” – (Matthew 5:7, MSG)

The dictionary defines mercy as: an act of compassion, kindness or favor. I know that kindness and compassion are always appreciated by me, especially when they are given freely and without hesitation. Though mercy is undeserved, it is tangible evidence of the goodness of God. When we show mercy, God gives mercy to us. The Lord, in His great compassion, gave us the ultimate gift of mercy. We did not deserve to be forgiven, yet He sent His one and only Son to make the way for us to be forgiven and set free. His mercy is the example and standard by which we ought to treat others. Our mode of operation should be compassion and kindness, regardless of what we receive. As a middle school teacher, I have the opportunity to extend mercy, daily. My goal is to welcome each student with compassion and kindness, no matter how they enter the room. My hope is that they might leave class in a better space than when they entered. Some days, it works well, yet others, it makes me wonder how God loves us like He does. Mercy is not sustainable without knowing the mercy of God. May we ever seek the Lord to lead us in His love, for through Him, we are equipped to be compassionate and kind, showing His favor as we choose to love.

O Lord, Your mercy,

Is oh so much more;

Than simple kindness,

We’re shown at the door.

It’s love that reaches,

The darkness within;

And provides the light,

To cleanse us from sin.

Full of compassion,

Your kindness You give;

Granting us favor,

Each day that we live.

O Lord, please teach us,

To choose live the same;

May we represent,

Your most blessed name.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You not only call us to be merciful, but You have shown us over and over again what it is. Thank You that as we are merciful, we too receive mercy. Forgive us for the times that we have lacked compassion or kindness. Teach us to approach each person we encounter with Your mercy that extends compassion and kindness, and grants favor that is a gift. Show us how to move in mercy with everyone we meet. Lead us to love with kindness and compassion for all. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we seek You to equip us to be compassionate and kind to everyone. Amen.

© Shannon Elizabeth Grabrick and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present

Give and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. – Luke 6:38

To Pursue Life

Whoever pursues righteousness and love finds life, prosperity, and honor. – (Proverbs 21:21, NIV)

People who try hard to do good and be faithful will find life, goodness, and honor. – (Proverbs 21:21, ERV)

Whoever goes hunting for what is right and kind finds life itself – glorious life! – (Proverbs 21:21, MSG)

Whoever pursues justice and treats others with kindness discovers true life marked by integrity and respect. – (Proverbs 21:21, VOICE)

We reap what we sow, so as we seek to do good and be faithful, we find life that is full of God’s goodness. This does not mean that all will be sunshine and roses, but it does mean that we will know and experience God’s unending faithfulness and His perfect peace, no matter what comes our way. May we ever pursue justice and treat others with kindness, for it is through a faithful life that we find goodness and integrity.

Lord, help us pursue,

What is good and right;

Lead us in kindness,

Through each day and night.

Help us treat others,

The way You designed;

With honor, respect,

To always be kind.

Lead us forever,

In Your faithfulness;

So all may experience,

Hope through graciousness.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You call us to pursue righteousness and love, for it is through doing so that we discover the goodness of Your grace and faithfulness to us. Forgive us for the times that we have lacked love or kindness. Teach us to listen to Your leading so that we may love in all things and at all times. Show us how to extend what is right and kind to those around us and make Your love tangible to all. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we pursue a life of righteousness and love. Amen.  

© Shannon Elizabeth Grabrick and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present

Surely Your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. – Psalm 23:6

Unfailing Love

May your unfailing love be with us, Lord, even as we put our hope in you. – (Psalm 33:22, NIV)

Lord, we worship you, so show your great love for us. – (Psalm 33:22, ERV)

O Eternal, drench us with Your endless love, even now as we wait for You. – (Psalm 33:22, VOICE)

This weekend has been an opportunity to feel this well. My hope and my praise are in God, as He has blessed me with tangible evidence of His endless and unfailing love. Nearly fifty years of friendship and family, our sister retreat has been an incredible blessing of laughter and love. To know and be known is one of the ways that God gives us glimpses of Him through those around us. Connection in the comfort of a slowed pace with no agenda have provided a retreat and refreshment that each of us needed most. Sharing meals together with easy-flowing conversation, with comfort in silence and in chatter, my heart is full as we prepare to part ways a little later this morning. God’s goodness and love have been tangibly evident, from the sweet little space that we have stayed in, nestled neatly in the woods with the sounds of a creek flowing nearby, the rain rhythmically falling on the roof, and through the opportunity to gather and share life together with lifelong loved ones. May we ever worship the Lord, who is our hope, for all blessings flow from His heart of love.

O Lord, unto You,

May our praises flow;

As You are with us,

Wherever we go.

Your presence made known,

Through tangible love;

Each blessing poured out,

From You, up above.

Ever we thank You,

For love that You give;

Hope through each heartache,

Joy and strength we live.

For times to gather,

And truly feel known;

The blessings outpoured,

As Your love is shown.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are so good. Thank You that as we hope in You, You show us Your overwhelming and unending love. Thank You for the blessing of loved ones near and far, as You place people in our lives with purpose. Thank You for the gift of family and lifelong friendships, for each are evidence of Your goodness and love. Forgive us for neglecting the relationships that You have established. Help us to prioritize time with You and time together. Show us how to love one another well, in the same way that You love us all. May many come into a lasting relationship with You as Your heart is made evident through goodness, hope and love. Amen.

© Shannon Elizabeth Grabrick and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present

Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I entrust my life. – Psalm 143:8

Ever Present with Love

You, Lord, are forgiving and good, abounding in love to all who call to You. – (Psalm 86:5, NIV)

My Lord, You are good and merciful. You love all those who call to You for help. – (Psalm 86:5, ERV)

O Lord, You are good and ready to forgive; Your loyal love flows generously over all who cry out to You. – (Psalm 86:5, VOICE)

I am so grateful that God is ever present to help, forgive and love us as we call on His Name. His goodness and mercy are not dependent on our worthiness, but rather His love, mercy and grace cleanse us from all of our sin and make us worthy in His sight. The love that He has for us is so abundant, that it is meant to overflow to those around us. May we ever call on the Lord to be our help, hope, and grace, that we too, may extend mercy, goodness, and love to all those around us.

My Lord, You are good,

Loving, merciful;

You’re faithful to all,

Who upon You, call.

With wide open arms,

In love, You embrace;

Each as we choose come,

In trust, seek Your face.

It is as we seek,

That truly we find;

Your goodness and grace,

Always You are kind.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for sending Your Son to make the way for us to boldly approach Your throne. Thank You that You hear us, see us, love and help us, each time we call on Your Name. Forgive us for our fears and doubts when we cannot see how You are present to move in our circumstances. Teach us to trust in Your faithfulness and love, for You have promised to never leave us nor forsake us. Show us how to love those around us in ways that make Your goodness known. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we call on You in all things and at all times, and extend the very same goodness to all whom we encounter. Amen.

© Shannon Elizabeth Grabrick and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present

May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all. – 2 Corinthians 13:14

Jesus the Coming King

May the Lord make your love increase and overflow for each other and for everyone else, just as ours does for you. May He strengthen your hearts so that you will be blameless and holy in the presence of our God and Father when our Lord Jesus comes with all His holy ones. – (1 Thessalonians 3:12-13, NIV)

We pray that the Lord will make your love grow. We pray that He will give you more and more love for each other and for all people. We pray that you will love everyone in the same way we love you. This will strengthen your desire to do what is right, and you will be holy and without fault before our God and Father when our Lord Jesus comes with all His holy people. – (1 Thessalonians 3:12-13, ERV)

May the Lord flood you with an unending, undying love for one another and for all humanity, like our love for you, so that your hearts will be reinforced with His strength, held blameless and holy before God, our Father, when our Lord Jesus, the Anointed, the Liberating King, appears along with all His holy ones. Amen. – (1 Thessalonians 3:12-13, VOICE)

This is a great prayer to be praying for all of us to pray, for this is the very thing that is lacking in the world today. Instead of fault-finding and demeaning one another’s differences, we need to love as we are loved by God. He does not tell us to get it all together before we can receive His love and forgiveness, instead, He calls us, just as we are, and then He cleanses us and changes our heart so that we might more clearly reflect His own. One day, He will return. Knowing Him strengthens our desire to do what is right and draws us into His holiness. Once we have tasted and seen the reality of God’s goodness, we cannot help but desire to know Him more. May we ever seek the Lord to flood us with His unending, undying love for one another and for all humanity, so that we might love as He intended and be found blameless when He returns.

Lord, strengthen our hearts,

To love each other;

All Your creation,

Sisters and brothers.

Teach us to see good,

And extend the same;

To love as You do,

With grace, without blame.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You call us to love everyone as You do. Thank You that You loved us first. Forgive us for the moments where we lack love in response to what we see or feel. Teach us to love anyway. Show us Your heart for every person we encounter so that we too, may love well. Lead us to love those around us in tangible ways that make Your goodness known. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Prepare our hearts each day to love like You. Be glorified O God, as we prayerfully seek You to lead us in Your love and intentionally choose to love everyone. Amen.

© Shannon Elizabeth Grabrick and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present

Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. – 1 Peter 4:8

He Sustains Me

Surely God is my help; the Lord is the one who sustains me. – (Psalm 54:4, NIV)

Look, my God will help me. My Lord will support me. – (Psalm 54:4, ERV)

But see now! God comes to rescue me; the Lord is my valiant supporter. – (Psalm 54:4, VOICE)

This has been one of those weeks where the days are extraordinarily long, yet in hindsight, I am not sure how it is now Wednesday. Monday began with a sore throat and the school day closed with a fight in my 6th period class. Yesterday, my throat didn’t hurt but my voice was fading. Thankfully, no fights, just some high energy kids who are as ready for break and I am. Today is an early release day for the students, so a change in the routine might be good. What I do know is that God has sustained and helped me for the last few days, and I know he will be present still. Tomorrow will be a marathon, as it is our first gymnastics meet of the season, and we are hosting. Knowing that God is with me is a comfort and encouragement to keep pressing forward. My sister and brother-in-love are moving mom to Albany today as well. They have packed and cleaned and sorted and prepared to help mom have a smooth move to be closer to family. It is clear that God has been present, as mom is excited to be so much closer to family and to be moving to a space with built-in community. All this to say that there is much going on and I am a bit overloaded, however, I know God is with me and that He is upholding me as I go – one day, one hour, and at times, one minute at a time. May we ever seek the Lord, our Sustainer and Savior, for He is faithful to help us navigate all things that come our way.

O Lord, You are good,

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

In everything;

Our help and our hope,

Loving offering.

Your grace is our help,

Your love holds us up;

Your strength sustains us,

In You there’s enough.

O Lord, keep holding,

My life in Your hands;

Remind me anew,

That in You I stand.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are our help and the One who sustains us when we are feeling depleted. Thank You that You are ever-present to help and You hold us up with Your loving hands. Forgive us for our desire to quit when things are overwhelming. Teach us to lean into You and remember Who gives us the strength and support that we need to overcome all that comes our way. Show us how to love, support and encourage those around us in ways that make Your heart tangible to all. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we praise You for Your help that sustains us. Amen.

© Shannon Elizabeth Grabrick and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present

Hear my cry for help, my King and my God, for to You I pray. – Psalm 5:2

Be My Strength

But You, Lord, do not be far from me. You are my strength; come quickly to help me. – (Psalm 22:19, NIV)

Lord, don’t leave me! You are my strength – hurry and help me! – (Psalm 22:19, ERV)

But You, O Eternal, stay close; O You, my help, hurry to my side. – (Psalm 22:19, VOICE)

One of the many things that I appreciate about the Psalms is that David was always raw and real before God. When he struggled, David cried out to God for help. In times of blessing, he gave God all thanks and praise. In all of the various roles that David filled, the common thread throughout was his dependence on God. This morning, I am reminded again to seek our Savior for strength. He knows my needs and He hears every prayer. Yesterday had some rough moments, but today is brand new. God will never leave nor forsake me, so I can trust in Him to provide what I need to navigate today. May we ever seek the Lord to be our strength, for He will be as close as our next breath.

O Lord, each morning,

I draw strength from You;

Your love holds me up,

And carries me through.

With kindness You breathe,

New life into me;

Strength to keep moving,

Despite what I see.

O God, Your goodness,

Sustains and lifts up;

Unending Your love,

That keeps filling us.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that we can call out to You to be our strength and trust that You are near us in all things and at all times. Thank You that You are faithful to meet us each time we call on Your Name. Forgive us for the times that we have tried to power through on our own, or have given up when You were calling us to keep moving. Show us how trust seek You to be the strength we need in all things. Lead us to love those around us as You do, so that we extend Your heart to others through the overflow of what we have been lavishly given. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we seek You to be our strength, for You are ever near. Amen.

© Shannon Elizabeth Grabrick and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present

So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. – Isaiah 41:10

Let Thanks Be Present

Let them give thanks to the Lord for His faithful love and His wonderful works for all humanity. – (Psalm 107:8, HCSB)

Thank the Lord for His faithful love and for the amazing things He does for people. – (Psalm 107:8, ERV)

May they erupt with praise and give thanks to the Eternal in honor of His loyal love and all the wonders He has performed for humankind! – (Psalm 107:8, VOICE)

The Thanksgiving break was far different than what I am accustomed to, yet it was very good and had an excellent balance of rest and of time with loved ones nearby. God knows what we need and is faithful to provide as we seek Him. Because of my coaching responsibilities, I needed to stay home this past weekend. Though that meant that we did not get time together with my mom or my sister and family, we did have time with our four all in the house at once, and opportunity to spend time with our besties to celebrate a retirement, be present and involved at church, and there was time to get together with a lifelong friend who is really a sister to both my sister and me. There are some intimidating unknowns in the coming weeks, yet the same God who cared for me with such kindness over the weekend, will be faithful to continue through all that lies ahead. In fact, even as I go to get stitches out this morning, my best friend is coming along to help me ask all of the questions about the pending procedure that will be required. God grants us comfort and peace, hope and help, and He is worthy of all of our thanks and praise. May we ever praise Him and continue into the season with grateful hearts. Though we know not all that lies ahead, we know Who will remain beside us through all things, and the One who makes His love tangible.

Let thanks be present,

In all that we do;

For God is faithful,

He will see us through.

Our help and our hope,

His love knows no end;

All grace and mercy,

On Him we depend.

Our hope forever,

May our praises rise;

To God, our Father,

Where all goodness lies.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for Your faithful love and wonderful works, as Your love knows no end. Thank You that You are our reason to give thanks and praise. Forgive us for the times that we are blind to Your blessings. Teach us to see things through Your eyes, for even in challenges, You provide blessings. Lead us to love those around us as You do, and help us to be Your love made tangible to all who need Your touch. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we give You our thanks and praise for Your unfailing love and the wonderful works that You do on our behalf. Amen.

© Shannon Elizabeth Grabrick and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present

Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; His love endures forever. – 1 Chronicles 16:34

Overflowing Gratitude

So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in Him, rooted and built up in Him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness. – (Colossians 2:6-7, NIV)

You accepted Jesus Christ as Lord, so continue to live in Him. You must depend on Christ only, drawing life and strength from Him. Just as you were taught the truth, continue to grow stronger in your understanding of it. And never stop giving thanks to God. – (Colossians 2:6-7, ERV)

Now that you have welcomed the Anointed One, Jesus the Lord, into your lives, continue to journey with Him and allow Him to shape your lives. Let your roots grow down deeply in Him, and let Him build you up on a firm foundation. Be strong in the faith, just as you were taught, and always spill over with thankfulness. – (Colossians 2:6-7, VOICE)

This is an ongoing, lifelong process that makes all of the difference in how our lives are lived. When we remain rooted in Christ, He strengthens our faith and reminds us of all that we have to be thankful for. Yesterday, as I was pulling into the parking lot where I coach high school gymnastics, I received a call from the specialist who had performed the biopsy on my lip. From the start, I could tell her tone was somber, so I took a deep breath and listened to the news she was sharing with me. The results were worse than she had anticipated, as aggressive carcinoma cells were found in the muscle, nerves and tissue from the punch sample. She said that normally the surgical process she had previously anticipated for me would be scheduled out in January, but due to the nature of the findings, it will be made a high priority and the schedulers will orchestrate a time as soon as possible. This is not exactly the news I had hoped or prayed for, but I needed to get into the gym and coach my girls. It was only after practice, when I called my husband, walked the dogs (prayerfully), and then spoke with my sisters and best friend, that I was able to breathe more easily and feel the familiar foundation of faith rise up. Being reminded of the beautiful community I am in floods my heart with gratitude. I am thankful that the spot was discovered before it spread further, that I have family and friends that support and encourage me, and that the success rate of treating this sort of cancer at this stage is outstanding. Additionally, I am grateful for sweet, smart dogs that seem to sense the need for snuggles. Currently, I have a gentle giant curled up and snoring softly on my lap. May we ever journey with Jesus through every twist and turn that life brings, for He is faithful to strengthen us and supply all that we need.

Give thanks to the Lord,

For He is the good;

That strengthens, supports,

Makes love understood.

He pours out His grace,

Holds us up gently;

Embraces our heart,

And makes our fears flee.

He brings alongside,

Kind community;

Equips, empowers,

Grants His eyes to see.

Things aren’t forever,

Pain’s temporary;

But our hope in Him,

Lasts eternally.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are our strength, our hope and our help. Thank You that You are our reason to give thanks. Forgive us for the times that we allow our circumstances to temporarily blind us to the truth of Your love and grace that gets us through all things. Teach us to trust You more each day, and flood us to overflowing with Your goodness and love. Show us how to love those around us in ways that strengthen and encourage, making Your heart abundantly clear to all. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we give You thanks for who You are and how You love us so well. Amen.

© Shannon Elizabeth Grabrick and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present

Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. – Colossians 3:15

Where Love is Evident

The earth is filled with Your love, Lord; teach me Your decrees. – (Psalm 119:64, NIV)

Lord, Your faithful love fills the earth. Teach me Your laws. – (Psalm 119:64, ERV)

Your love, God, fills the earth! Train me to live by Your counsel. – (Psalm 119:64, MSG)

Though there are many places and spaces where it feels as though there is no love to be found, it takes but a moment to slow down and truly look and see all the good that God has placed around us. It is knowing the goodness of His love that compels me to want to learn and grow each day to more clearly reflect His heart to the world. We all are a work in progress, yet as we pursue Him and recognize the love that He has for us all, one cannot help but to desire to do likewise. May we ever seek the Lord to recognize the goodness of His love, and seek after Him to show us how to live according to His counsel.

The love of the Lord,

Is beyond compare;

His goodness and grace,

Are found ev’rywhere.

Each time we seek Him,

The Lord will be found;

Present, He helps us,

His kindness is sound.

It is God’s great love,

That leads us to seek;

To walk in His ways,

Follow His decrees.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that Your love is evident everywhere. Thank You that it is Your kindness that compels us to walk in Your way and do Your will. Forgive us for the times that we have neglected to love or avoided the things that You were calling us to do. Teach us to trust You and to listen to Your leading so that we may truly walk in the light of Your love. Show us how to love those around us as You do. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we embrace the grace that You give and recognize the overwhelming love all around us that leads us to desire to do likewise. Amen.

© Shannon Elizabeth Grabrick and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present

Show me Your ways, Lord, teach me Your paths. – Psalm 25:4