His Steadfast Love


Deal with your servant according to your steadfast love, and teach me your statutes.  Psalm 119:124

Consider how life would go if the following requests were made: “Dear Internal Revenue Service, please deal with our burdensome taxes according to your history of mercy.” Or, “Dear mortgage company, please disregard our six late payments and withhold any action of penalty based on your history of forgiveness.” One would never bother writing either letter because the idea of looking to either institution for understanding would be wasted.

Tragically, this could also be further personalized.  “Dear Dad, please forgive me for how I hurt you so many years ago according to your history of forgiveness.” With no history of forgiveness, any hope of receiving it would be futile.  Or, “Dear Pastor, please pray for my sense of hopelessness today according to your history of compassion.” Sadly, many would never ask their pastor because he has shown no mercy for such honesty; he’s only given pep talks.

God’s steadfast love is not like anyone’s on earth.  He is the one person who is safe for me to need.  But because of all of my previous experiences, I can give up on needing anything altogether.  I put my arms down, never test God’s character, and continue to live crippled because of my many deficits.  All the while, God’s steadfast love toward me is full and overflowing, just waiting to extend.

My reactions to the pain of my life choke out prayer and numb out need.  There is no way to open up my heart to God without confronting the reasons I’ve closed it in the first place.  Unless I take courage to compare how God is not like the people who have hurt me, I will never receive what I need the most.  My requests will be shallow and safe.  God waits to answer risky prayers, the ones that feel like suicide if I pray them.  What do I really need today, that ‘thing’ that I’m afraid to speak?

I speak of it, Lord.  Deal with me according to Your steadfast love.  Amen

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