“But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved.” Ephesians 2:4-5 (NIV)
I had never been so nervous in all my life. Up until this point, I had been wondering if I was even in the right room—the right place. But my name had been called to sit with the others on the front pew of the courtroom, all of us ready to defend our case. Weeks earlier I had received a ticket for speeding. 70 in a 55. My husband (whom at the time was my boyfriend) was in the car with me when the incident happened assured me that I had not been going that fast. I needed to contest this ticket. Finally it was my turn. I stood beside that attorney as he spoke on my behalf to the judge. The judge who was sitting behind a large pulpit frowning, looking down on me. My legs felt like Jello. My heart rat-a-tat-tatting like a drum.I wanted to cry. I felt so small standing before that judge. It felt like an eternity went by before his verdict was given, but in reality it was only a matter of minutes as he reduced the speed to 65 over 55 and I made my way to the side door to pay my fine. Mercy. My first thought was this: so this is how it feels to go before God and receive His mercy. I was in awe. I’m still in awe. You see, mercy is when we are not given the punishment we deserve. All of us are sinners. All of us deserve hell. But God in His great mercy sent His Son Jesus to die on a cruel cross and be the sacrifice for us. When we accept God’s gift of salvation, we are given the gift of mercy saving us from hell.
Today is the 4th of July, Independence day, here in America. May we not only thank our Father in Heaven for the freedoms we have as a nation but for the freedom we have through His salvation and mercy.