Waiting in the Wings

For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God.

Tag: mercy

Our Weakness, God’s Strength

“Lamb of God ” by Meghan Williams, Dyed4you Art

2 Corinthians 12:9-11 (TPT) But he answered me, “My grace is always more than enough for you, and my power finds its full expression through your weakness.” So I will celebrate my weaknesses, for when I’m weak I sense more deeply the mighty power of Christ living in me. 

I must admit that there are times when I have viewed a picture of a lamb and cringed. It’s not because I dislike how they look. On the contrary, such gentle and innocent faces are precious. However, it has been hard for me to accept that such sweet creatures were God’s choice as a sacrifice. In just the same way, our sinless and meek Savior—the Lamb of God—was God’s choice to bring atonement for the world.

It took me some time to recognize why the image of a lamb makes me uncomfortable—it’s because, for better or for worse, I can identify with it. As one who operates as a prophetic intercessor (also known as the gift of mercy), God built suffering for Christ’s sake into my design, physically and spiritually. Sharing the burdens of others and the things that wound the heart of God isn’t always easy. I hurt, I cry, I lose sleep. I act on God’s behalf when He moves me to. I share the Father’s grief, sometimes at deep levels. And while I’m called to bring each burden to the Cross through prayer, it takes a measure of vulnerability to do this spiritual work. Often, I feel as vulnerable as a little lamb.

It should come as no surprise—we frequently see the power of God demonstrated through the weak things of this world. Suffering for Christ’s sake requires that we embrace weakness and pain—even when we have the power to avoid it. In moments of suffering, whether through intercession or trials, I often discover how the ways of the flesh cannot compare to the power of the Spirit. We can move mountains through prayer, turn away wrath with a gentle reply, and calm storms with the peace of Christ. When we are strong, it is natural for us to lean on the resources of our natural man. Yet when we are weak, we truly learn what it means to overcome!

Indeed, our King has led the way and set the example for us. Christ proved that great love and self-sacrifice could break the power of death. He demonstrated that, when we allow ourselves to become vulnerable before God, we can open the door to experience His glory at deeper and deeper levels. We can see how mighty God can be when we yield and allow Him to work through us.

Isaiah 53:5 (NKJV) But He [was] wounded for our transgressions, [He was] bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace [was] upon Him, And by His stripes we are healed.

1 Peter 4:13, 16 (NKJV) but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy…. Yet if [anyone suffers] as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in this matter.

Worth the Price

Eyes of Mercy” by Meghan Williams of Dyed4you Ministries

Isaiah 53:5 (VOICE) But he was hurt because of us; he suffered so. Our wrongdoing wounded and crushed him. He endured the breaking that made us whole. The injuries he suffered became our healing.

By design, I operate in the gift of mercy. However, I admit that the person I find it hardest to have mercy on is myself. Other than God, I alone know the depth of my sin. I know my record. I cringe when I see that the thoughts of my heart do not align with the heart of God. Unfortunately, harboring unforgiveness and contempt towards myself is a practiced behavior.

And yet, to be an intercessor, I know all too well about the power of Christ’s atonement. I know that the blood of Christ covers every sin, and it covers them completely. Therefore, my transgressions before God are erased because love keeps no record of wrongs. The battle against sin has been won. My true struggle is making a conscious choice to see myself the way that God now sees me; I am in the image of Christ, a perfect, blameless, and beautiful creation of the Eternal One.

One day, as I found myself struggling with self-condemnation, I asked the Father why I always find it so hard to receive His grace and forgiveness for what I view to be my shortcomings. I also recognized that I was prone to making a mountain out of the molehill of my wrongs.

“You have a fear that My grace is going to run out,” the Father said.

I frowned. With my head, I knew that Scripture states that God’s grace is sufficient for us. Christ’s sacrifice will always be enough. We will never run out of grace. And yet my heart struggled to accept this truth. The Father was right—I walked around with an unconscious fear that I would one day reach the end of His grace. Somehow, I felt like my past sins left me little room for error in the present.

“I guess every time I see where I’m falling short, I also see that there’s a cost,” I said. I found it hard to be patient with myself when my inability to conform to Christ’s image required constant atonement. It seemed like the Cross was that much nearer, and I felt like I was constantly adding another stripe upon my Savior’s back.

“Yes, it does cost something,” the Father said, agreeing with me. But then, in the Spirit, I could feel His love wrap around me, almost like He was picking me up and gathering me into His arms. “But just think about it—when you really love someone, do you ever think about what it costs to love them? Are you keeping a tally, afraid you will run out of love to give them?”

I smiled, reflecting on how easy it is to love someone in their brokenness when I am operating in mercy. No, I never think about the cost. When you love someone, they are worth the price. All I can think about is how much I love that person. And in that moment, I could understand that God felt the same way about me. I could understand why He is so patient and long-suffering in the face of my brokenness.

Yes, there is a cost for our past and present sin. A price was also paid to heal us of soul wounds that others may have inflicted upon us. New mindsets and healing don’t come overnight, no matter how much we wish they did. But God’s grace is enough for us. In fact, in light of the Cross, His love is extravagant. Through the atoning transaction at Calvary, Christ demonstrated with His death that our redemption was worth the price.

1 Corinthians 13:5-7 (TPT) Love does not traffic in shame and disrespect, nor selfishly seek its own honor. Love is not easily irritated or quick to take offense. Love joyfully celebrates honesty and finds no delight in what is wrong. Love is a safe place of shelter, for it never stops believing the best for others. Love never takes failure as defeat, for it never gives up.

2 Corinthians 12:9 (VOICE) and finally He said to me, “My grace is enough to cover and sustain you. My power is made perfect in weakness.” So ask me about my thorn, inquire about my weaknesses, and I will gladly go on and on—I would rather stake my claim in these and have the power of the Anointed One at home within me.

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