The Paradox of Mercy

I have been in need of so much mercy in my life. And I have never ever earned it.  Not even once.

I have received so much mercy in my life.  And often as I let it do its work in my parched soul, I have found myself filled with gratitude and shame.  Gratitude for the mercy, and shame for needing it.  And then I see clearly that I did not understand mercy. Because its very core of mercy is that it is always undeserved–that’s why it’s mercy. And  so I relearn mercy.

Ezechiel 16 tells the story of the origin of the nation of Israel, God’s beloved.  He tells us of birth and rejection.  Of no one having pity–mercy.  And then God came.  And God saw her squirming in her blood, and He said to her, “Live!”

Condemned to a life with no one looking upon her with love, but God said “Live!” Condemned to death, but God said “Live!”  A picture of mercy. A picture of love. God adopted her.  Made her His own.  His pride and joy.  His precious possession. Not a second class nation, but His number one choice.  His precious possession.

God’s mercy manifested, and she became something.  Humbly.  He removed her shame and clothed her with Himself.  There was no shame for needing Him.  She received freely.

And then I see it: Shame is pride dressed up.  It is the little voice in me that says I  could have done better.  I should have done better.  And I failed God.  As though I could measure up.  I deserve nothing.

Yes, I deserve nothing.  But here is the miracle: He entitles me to mercy.  It’s part of the deal.  Mercy rescues, and mercy keeps.


And I re-relearn mercy.

What an odd paradox… how can mercy be an entitlement when it is unearned, undeserved, never paid for, always freely given by choice?  I don’t understand.  But I know that I breathe because of it.  And I know that I am the fruit of it. And I know that pride dies in its presence.

His mercy is past finding out.  This is the paradox of mercy.  And I will spend my life giving thanks for it.

And re-re-relearning it.

Sometimes, I link up with any or all of these wonderful writers: Hearts 4 Home,SDG, Hearts Reflected, WLW, EOA, Things I can’t say, Growing Home,Play Dates with God, Monday Musings, Hear it on Sunday,Inspire Me Monday, Tell me a Story, The Better Mom, a Mama’s Story, Into the Word, In and Around Mondays,OYHT, Gratituesday,Titus2Tuesdays,Extraordinay,Lessons from Ivy,Denise in Bloom, Sweet Blessings, Faith Filled Friday,Finding Joy,WholeHearted Home, Mom’s the Word, Reclaiming a Redeemed Life, Still Saturday. Wildcrafting Wednesdays, WFMW



  1. Barbara, His mercy is so good and undeserving even. I thank God continually for His grace and mercy that He bestows upon us, how refreshing it is. Have a wonderful week. Stopping by from Tell His Story.


  2. Mercy….oh, so thankful for that gift. You are right, a paradox of His goodness for us who do not deserve it but get to drink from that well, repeatedly.

    Beautiful offering here, Barbara.


  3. Thank you for this truth about mercy. In the scheme of things, we sometimes fail to recognize how much it is a part of every moment of our lives. Perhaps that is why the Bible reminds us that His mercies are new every morning! I am so grateful! Visiting as your neighbor at Oh My Hearts Girls Linkup


  4. Shame is pride dressed up —- I see it now. Through prayer recently God identified ‘a spirit of shame’ that need to be released from me. It is gone in Jesus name but I still need to ‘receive’ from the mercy seat of my Lord. Amen!


  5. Although we do not deserve His Mercy – it is extended and continues on and on – just like Jesus said we are to forgive – – on and on without counting. I am so thankful for the Mercy that has been given to me. Thank you for sharing with us here at Tell me a Story.


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