Tender Mercies

“Gracious souls are more affected by the tender mercies of The Lord than by His terrors.”
— Matthew Henry

This morning, for the first time ever, I tried jogging with headphones in. I didn’t make it a mile before I ripped the earbuds out and — in what must have been an hilariously awkward motion to onlookers — wrapped them around my phone without breaking stride. My pursuit of the road does not facilitate distraction, but sensitivity to the breeze and the subtle whispers of the trail. Running is not mere fitness of body, but also focused meditation.
I wish I could throw off sin and finite pursuits just as easily as those earbuds, but that is a much trickier distraction. I am the one Lewis describes as not knowing the might of temptation, since I always give in too readily — as though there is any other stage of surrender to evil. But when Aaron Weiss prays, “Open wide my door, my Lord, to whatever makes me love You more,” I try and try to echo that prayer …while quietly asking that He not strip me of my comforts.

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Thank God for His tender mercies, that my salvation is not contingent on my ability to draw near to Him, but on His sacrifice and might.

Lord, as surely as You send a great and strong wind, or an earthquake chased by fire, You will follow with a low whisper. Incline my heart to hear Your voice and submit to Your will, rather than preoccupy myself with the violence of Your absence.

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