Mercy.....Webster's defines mercy as "compassion or forbearance shown especially to an offender or to one subject to one's power; also : lenient or compassionate treatment"
Not all that long ago I remember hearing what a picture of the Gospel to our children to have the occasional "mercy" given in place of discipline for disobedience. So somewhere between 2-3 years of age Casey & I would occasionally tell Reed he was going to receive "mercy" in place of his deserved consequence.....then also explaining the Gospel and how God has mercy on us, not giving us what we deserve for our sins because of Jesus and His perfect righteousness in our place! And not that he really "grasped" all of these beautiful truths, but he did quickly catch on that "mercy" meant no spanking. And of course he began to often began to ask for mercy every time he disobeyed---but who wouldn't, right?!
Well, now at almost 5 1/2 years old this continues to be a beautiful theme and vision we desire for our children to grasp. We long for them to understand, believe, and hope that Jesus is our only hope of being with our perfect and heavenly Father for all of eternity! One of the first verses they all have memorized is from Acts 16:31 (as it's on our "Hide Em' in Your Heart" CD) "Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved."
So this morning when Casey took Reed to school his teacher shared a sweet conversation she had with him earlier this week. Reed had apparently done something he shouldn't have (actually later today I found out he ran across the room, jumped up on a table and then onto the floor?! Oh my I can't believe my sweet, timid, so not rebellious child did something so boldly in a classroom?!) But anyways, they talked to him, and he was remorseful and acknowledged his actions were wrong and inappropriate for inside the classroom. Then following the incident they went out to the playground; the teachers determined he understood what he had done and he knew it was wrong. So they felt it was fine for him to play and enjoy the beautiful day rather than face some sort of consequence for his actions. So after playing a few minutes he came up to one of the teachers and asked her if he was in trouble. She told him, that it was over and they forgave him. He then preceded to tell her "Ms. Donna you gave me mercy." He continued to tell her "I know all about mercy because my daddy gives me mercy. God gives us mercy and forgives our sins in Jesus." (I didn't get the conversation word for word but it was something like that). She then told Casey that it just really touched her heart and blessed her so much to have Reed share all about God's mercy and forgiveness to her.
So today my heart bursts with praise and thanksgiving... that our sweet boy is hearing these truths and they are beginning to penetrate his little heart--to the point that he can verbalize and share them with others. I too am in awe of God's mercy and grace in my heart---how undeserving I am of Jesus perfect righteousness. I am grateful and know what a privilege that it is to be watching first hand the Lord at work in all of our children's lives. May I continue to be guided in His wisdom as day after day I have the blessing of sharing what is eternal and our everlasting hope with them all!