Wednesday, January 18, 2012

The Tender Mercies of the Lord

Nephi said this:

"...But behold, I, Nephi, will show unto you that the tender mercies of the Lord are over all those whom he hath chosen, because of their faith, to make them mighty even unto the power of deliverance." (1 Nephi 1:20)
I love this.

Oh, but I left out the first part of the verse. Nephi first said:
"And when the Jews heard these things they were angry with him; yea even as with the prophets of old, whom they had cast out, and stoned, and slain; that they also sought his life, that they might take it away..."

He was talking about his father in the first part. His father, a prophet, who was being threatened with death. Then he told us the last part of the verse. That he will show us (through his written words) the tender mercies of the Lord over who? Over those who have faith. Faith in who? Jesus Christ. And then they would be mighty! Even unto the power of deliverance!

Tender Mercies are important in my life. I try to recognize them whenever I can because if I don't, I easily become overwhelmed. Basically, completely. Plus, it's always good to be grateful for one's blessings, right? Gratitude, mercy, faith --these are fantastic things.

I like to think about Nephi saying, "Hey, look, Cheryl. My father was being sent death-threats, just for teaching about God. Then God commanded our family to hit the road. I had to deal with my older brothers who tried to kill ME several times, living in the wilderness, building a boat, crossing the ocean, and then getting my family used to a new land we'd never seen before. While all of this was going on, there was dealing with my older brothers' selfish attitudes (when they weren't trying to kill me), losing my bow so we couldn't hunt food, constant whining and complaining from all kinds of family members, and when we finally settled in that new land? My older brothers took their families, left, and basically declared war/hatred/feuding with my side of the family. For the rest of our lives. And look at me! I'm not complaining. In fact, the biggest thing I complain about is the fact that I'm a wretched man with little faith. I'm pretty sure if I could look on the bright side of things, you can, too."

[Granted, I've never talked face to face with angels, the Holy Ghost, or Jesus Christ. But, that's okay. I really like Nephi. I won't point that part out to him.]

Here are some recent tender mercies that have made me realize that, A. Nephi was totally right and B. That I'm not alone or forgotten. Even when it feels like it sometimes.

(Please note that most of these are financial-related. Not all, but most. Since we are in financial straits right now, anything that can save us a little is a tender mercy!)

*The baby's car seat is not expired! We don't have to buy a new one. It's safe, it's never been in an accident, it's never been recalled, it's NOT EXPIRED.
*I found a way to wash the couches without paying someone to do it.
*My darkest Depression day in the last two months only lasted that: A DAY. Not a week. Not a month! A Day. Only a day!
*We finally came to a conclusion about the van: We're just going to have be a two-car family for a while. I refuse to have a bench with three seats installed that would not equate safety for the kids; Brandon refuses to buy another car since we just BARELY paid ours off. And it's okay. The tender mercy is our agreement! Our resolve. My peace about it. My letting it go.
*The birth is paid for! I just have a few supplies to get, but the midwife is paid in full. Finished!
*My therapist believes I'm well enough to only see her once a month now.
*Our new neighbors across the street are nice. And quiet. And seem awesometastic!
*My 89 year old grandmother called us last night to wish us a Happy Anniversary. It was nice to chat with her for a while and realize how blessed I am to have such a great family.
*When the large gallon-sized water jug fell on my daughter's foot the other day, it did NOT break any toes.
*Our oldest child is not quite 11 years old, but she is capable to babysit our children (when we go out locally). In fact, she's better than most girls we hire!
*I'm not as awful of a Gospel Doctrine teacher as I thought I was; a few feedback comments after the class on Sunday helped me feel non-losery.
*My children are all healthy. They have use of their limbs, their senses, and their brains. Aside from colds, some eczema, a few allergies, and the need for glasses and braces, they are the epitome of health. THIS is more than a tender mercy. This is MIRACULOUS. It has saved us worry, fatigue, money, time, and sorrow. Would I still love them if they did not fit this description? Of course. Would I still view them as a gift from God? Of course. But I will not take for granted what their good health has meant for our family. (And if our next child is not as healthy, that's okay. I'll take him however he comes!)

What have been some of your recent tender mercies from the Lord?


flip flop mama said...

I love this post. It's so important to realize those seemingly small things that the Lord has blessed us with.

sariqd said...

I think that for me, the tender mercy was being reminded from you that there are tender mercies out there and I need to stop, breathe, and recognize them. Thank you for that.

Beautiful post.