Do you know anyone who is satisfied with the way things are? There seems to be something inside each of us that wants to reach beyond our self and touch something “more.”

We are each plagued by a kind of holy discontent.

In our own way, we are each crying out for mercy. We are each, deep in our souls, longing for an experience with God.

Surely God will hear our cries and respond to our longings. Even now, as we read, reflect, and pray, may we hold out hope that God will sneak up on us in the form of forgiveness, acceptance, peace, joy, and love.

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Lord, change our circumstances for the better, like dry streams in the desert waste! Let those who plant with tears reap the harvest with joyful shouts. Let those who go out, crying and carrying their seed, come home with joyful shouts, carrying bales of grain!

Psalm 126:4-6

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There’s nothing fun about pain and suffering. If we could avoid it most of us would rather live without it, choosing instead to live in a world with nothing but unicorns, rainbows, and butterflies — you know, all the good stuff. But unfortunately, that’s not how life works. Everything belongs: good and bad, light and dark, hope and despair, heaven and hell. It’s all there, right in front of us, all around us.

And so is God, which is why we have nothing to fear.

Streams burst forth in the driest desert; tears eventually give way to joyful shouts; and, seeds, when given enough time, produce grain. Such is life. It is for us to enjoy.

However, when things are particularly difficult it is important for us to remember that we’re not going through it alone, nor will it last forever. For all is in God, and God is at all times, even when we can’t see, working to restore that which is broken.

Chris Robertson

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God, every day is different. Some days are really great, but there are days when things get really rough. In the midst of it all help me to hold on to you, and if possible, help me to experience joy in all circumstances, on both good days and bad days. Amen.

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Mercy is truly a grace-filled gift, one that is offered to all of us in and through Christ.

“The grace of God means something like: Here is your life. You might never have been, but you are because the party wouldn’t have been complete without you. Here is the world. Beautiful and terrible things will happen. Don’t be afraid. I am with you. Nothing can ever separate us. It’s for you I created the universe. I love you.”

from Wishful Thinking: A Theological ABC by Frederick Buechner (1973)

Chris Robertson

Rev. Chris Robertson loves everything about Jesus. Formerly a youth pastor, he’s now the manager of a veterinary practice in East Tennessee. In his spare time he enjoys reading, hiking, and wrestling in the floor with his two boys, Shane and Theo.

Leaning on the Everlasting Arms

Jim McConnell

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