More from Virginia Ruth
On the day that I received my copy of The Upper Room containing my meditation, my husband and I were attending our church’s small group Bible study discussion. Since our group had been privy to my call and decision to pursue writing, I shared with them the devotional.
That evening we were studying Hebrews 11. Because of our faith in God, we are called to live out the action of extending mercy. We perform works not because we need to add to our tally sheet of good works but out of response to the grace that God has given us.
Since writing “The Path of Mercy," I experienced the sudden death of my mother and the deterioration of health of my dad (pictured above with me). This past year has been centered on helping him with administration of the estate as well as the grief and adjustment of losing mom. Some days I experience the frustration of having to give up my plans, my dreams, my time, and my money to care and tend to his needs. I have had to sacrifice the beginnings of a writing career which I pursued in obedience to God. In those moments I wonder, Why did God call me to a writing career and then placed the care of my dad in my way? I think of the Good Samaritan who was on his way when the needs of an injured man were placed in his path. The story doesn’t detail the sacrifice the Samaritan made after he tends to the injured man.
Yet, as I learned that evening in our small group and as I am continually learning, I need to trust God's call to extend mercy. Sometimes those we love require as much extra resources and sacrifice as the stranger in the Good Samaritan story.
I am learning that extending mercy means I first need to have unwavering faith in God. Faith that God will give me the strength and courage to reach out to others. Faith that God will supply all my need, resources, time, and talent as I extend mercy. Faith that as I turn over my plans, my dreams, my time, and my money, God will provide.
I think sometimes God allows the frustrations and constraints on our schedules, plans, and resources to arise in order to draw us closer and to encourage us to trust more. We can extend mercy to others because, as it says in Hebrews, faith is “being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.”
Even though I have delayed many of my writing plans, I still maintain a blog: www.wellofencouragement.com.
- Virginia Ruth