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Devotion – Poem – Recalling His Enduring Mercies

Posted Jul 11 2010 7:05am

By Daphne Eilein Landers

I hadn’t seen her for several weeks. So I led a group of women to visit with Nuri, an elderly homebound woman from our church. After hugging and kissing her, I fixed Nuri and her husband dinner. Another woman pulled weeds from the garden. Another ironed her husband’s clothes, while others tidied the common areas. Others chatted with her. As day turned to night, I flip-flopped in my mind between two Biblical passages to end the evening. I wanted something appropriate for the situation, something sensitive to her feelings and needs.

I decided on Psalm 136. I read the first line of each verse, while all the women – in unison – repeated the last line in each of the 26 verses: “For His mercy endures forever.” Verse by verse, the Psalmist David recalled instances of God’s mercy in the lives of the Israelites. From the little things to the big things.

But each time, things that reminded them they were never alone and that God cared for them. “To Him who divided the Red Sea in two, for His mercy endures forever” (Psalm 136:13). “To Him who led His people through the wilderness, for His mercy endures forever” (Psalm 136:16). “Who remembered us in our low state, for His mercy endures forever” (Psalm 136:23).

As I read the chapter, I watched Nuri, her hazelnut skin and salt-and-copper hair hunched in the sofa. With her frail voice, she joined the group, “His mercy endures forever.” Again, “His mercy endures forever.” At times, I couldn’t hear her, but her lips mouthed the words. She gazed past us all and nodded slightly with each verse. I watched her the entire time, and as I read the last verse, “Oh, give thanks to the God of heaven, for His mercy endures forever,” I knew she wholeheartedly agreed.

Today – two years later, I remembered Nuri and Psalm 136. I myself have lived with chronic pain and depression the past year-and-a-half. And in the past two months, I experienced a traumatic event that intensified my symptoms and left me temporarily unable to work. Instead, I’ve been undergoing treatment for multiple symptoms and suffering the side effects and complications of various medications.

I know his mercy endures forever, even on days when it seems I’m alone, no one understands, and God himself has forgotten me. I’m choosing to recall his enduring mercies, even when I don’t feel it. Expressing thanks doesn’t minimize my difficulties. Neither does it discount that life can be difficult with physical, emotional, and mental challenges.

Instead, as I practice remembering His mercies, I overflow with physical, emotional, and mental benefits, all by choosing a grateful heart.

I am not alone. Daily, I see God’s enduring mercy in my friends and family members who live with chronic conditions. And I experience it myself with each passing moment:

To him who cradles me through my sleepless nights.
His mercy endures forever.
And wakes me up every morning.
His mercy endures forever.

To him who protects me through my dizzy spells.
His mercy endures forever.
And lifts my head from isolating shame.
His mercy endures forever.

To Him who sends messengers of encouragement.
His mercy endures forever.
And lifts my spirit with a well-timed card.
His mercy endures forever.

To Him who entertains me with my dog’s antics.
His mercy endures forever.
And delights me with little things.
His mercy endures forever.

To Him who gives me strength to make breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
His mercy endures forever.
And helps me to join fellow believers at church.
His mercy endures forever.

To Him who daily collects every tear.
His mercy endures forever.
And teaches me to be patient with others and myself.
His mercy endures forever.

To Him who has slowed me down from the busyness of life.
His mercy endures forever.
And paces me to live only in today.
His. Mercy. Endures. Forever.

Today I join the Psalmist David, Nuri, my friends and family members, and millions worldwide. Whatever our circumstance, we choose to recall God’s enduring mercies – and enjoy the overflow of benefits.

Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good.
His mercy endures forever.

Daphne Landers is a Freelance Writer from Lakeland, FL and will soon have a web site at DaphneWrites .

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