Psalm 51 (NIV) “Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions.”
This is my favorite verse in the entire Bible. Sadly, I recently failed to live it. Our seven-year-old son had been missing for two hours with his friend. Parents were in their cars scouring half of Greene county looking for them. We looked everywhere. No sign of the boys. I was in a panic. I looked at my wife and said, “We need help. I’m calling the police.” The fear I felt as I started dialing 9-1-1 was indescribable. Just as I started dialing though, Tara spotted the boys on their bikes. We ran up to them and I totally lost it. My panic turned to anger and I expressed my disappointment in the boys’ behavior with virtually no filter between brain and tongue. After we got home I sat down with our son to tell him his punishment for wandering away from home. Just then, the Holy Spirit said, “Dan, how many times have YOU done the exact same thing to me? Strayed away. When did my concern for you ever turn immediately to anger?”
It hit me hard. I realized in this moment I had a golden opportunity to express love, compassion, and mercy to my son while also teaching him a lesson about wandering from home. Have you wandered from your spiritual father? Do you need mercy? King David prayed the words in Psalm 51 after he realized his sin with Bathsheba. Imagine the guilt he felt. But God is merciful and slow to anger. If you need forgiveness and mercy today, simply ask your Father for it. And remember to extend the same to others.
DAN KERSTEN is a missions journalist of 14 years, a licensed Assemblies of God minister, and serves as director of Development and Communications for Men’s Ministries and Light for the Lost with the U.S. AG. He has a deep passion for men’s discipleship and fulfilling the Great Commission. He lives in Springfield, MO, with his wife, Tara, and their son, Omar.
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