My hands are roughly the size of a nine-year-old boy’s, and because I bite my nails (I know, I know) and rarely treat myself to a Mani Pedi, they don’t look a whole lot different than a nine-year-old boy’s hands either. My big brother, Michael, has gigantic hands—I’m talking Shaquille O’Neal gigantic hands. Perfect for impressing all my grade school friends with his ability to palm a basketball, and for dominating everyone in the game of Mercy.
Remember Mercy? It was a classic inside-recess or back-of-the-school-bus game; one I’m sure has (thankfully) died out because now kids never have to experience a second of boredom—hello, smart phones. To compete in Mercy, you would grab hands with someone, interlocking your fingers with theirs, and then try to bend that person’s fingers back in a way that inflicts so much pain that they have to surrender by crying out, “MERCY!” If you get your opponent to shout mercy first, it’s game over. You let go of their hand, and you win.
My brother, with his oversized mitts, could be “Mercy Champion of The World” if he wanted to pursue the illustrious title, but he’s still looking for some sponsors. Maybe John Stamos would be interested. Track with me here for a second. When you see John Stamos, you immediately think, Uncle Jesse, and when you see Uncle Jesse, you immediately think, “Have MERCY!” Boom. I think I’m on to something.
MERCY is a word that I’ve heard all my life: on the playground, while watching Full House, and of course, in church services. It’s a word that washed over me in a very uneventful way when I heard it or read it. It’s a word I’d grown too familiar with.
About a year and a half ago, my husband and I planted a church called New Song in Oklahoma City. My eight-year-old son asked me a funny question the other morning, as we were walking out the door to head to church. “Mom, when New Song is like a hundred years old, will we change the name to Old Song?” I for real LOL’d and then quickly answered, “No buddy, it will always be New Song, because God’s mercies are NEW every morning.” I then tried to explain what mercies were and found myself bumbling around like an idiot.
Why couldn’t I define a word I knew so well in a way that my kids would understand it? Perhaps it was because I didn’t know it as well as I thought I did. Time to dig in.
I probably quote Lamentations 3:23 at least once a week while I’m worshipping God in my quiet time, “Thank you Lord, that your mercies are new every morning!” but what does that mean? What does mercy mean to you?
Maybe when you think of God’s mercy, you think about a God who has a bigger hand than you do, yet chooses not to crush your life because He’s full of mercy. While God does hold the world in His hands, His mercy is so much more than allowing us to not be crushed.
The word mercy is a rich word, a weighty word, a word that should stir our hearts to worship every time we come into contact with it. God’s mercy defined is His goodness, kindness, faithfulness, beauty, zeal, and favor directed at you and me—you and me who, quite frankly, do not deserve any of those things.
Now that we have a more amplified understanding of the word mercy, I want you to look at some words that are used to describe God’s mercy in scripture. This is quite a list of adjectives that you should totally write down somewhere:
Great + Rich + Unfailing + Plenteous + Abundant + Sure + Everlasting + Tender + Fresh + Higher Than The Sky + All Over The Earth.
Don’t miss this! HIS MERCY, which encompasses His goodness, kindness, faithfulness, beauty, zeal, and favor toward us, IS, according to His Word, great, rich, unfailing, sure, everlasting, tender, fresh, higher than the sky, yet all over the earth!
Insert praise hands emoji here!
Mercy is not only the absence of punishment we have earned, but the presence of the emblems that personify God’s loving nature. God doesn’t just give mercy, He is mercy, and because God is an everlasting Father, His mercy toward us will never run out. There’s nothing you can do to bend His fingers back or twist His arm enough to make Him let go of your hand, and on the flip side, He’s not torturing you to get you to call for mercy.
God’s mercy is Him pouring His life into our lives even though we aren’t worthy! And He does that on a daily basis if we’ll open up and receive.
Understanding the fresh mercies that await us every morning will cause our hearts to burst forth with a fresh expression of praise every morning.
Psalm 96:1 says, “Sing to the Lord a new song.”
It’s not necessarily talking about a song no one has ever heard—let’s face it: we don’t all have the songwriting skills of Joel Houston—but rather a song that’s fresh from your heart. You may have sung “10,000 Reasons” close to 10,000 times, but it can still be a new song if you sing it from a heart that has a new revelation of the new mercies God has graced you with yet again!
Discoveries of God’s goodness, kindness, faithfulness, beauty, zeal, and favor await you today and tomorrow and the next day. Find them and you’ll always be singing a NEW SONG.