“Hear my cries Lord, hear my plea / All around me, all I see / Are canyons of heartache, rivers of mistakes / … It’s clouding up my clarity.” Those lines are from the song, “Mercy”, written by Aaron Pelsue. How often have you felt this way? Every day brings a new disappointment, and it seems as if bad news has taken up permanent residence in our inbox. The daily news grows ever more depressing, and the demands on our time our choking out any semblance of a spiritual life. We are dismayed by our past, discouraged by the future and despondent over our current circumstances. Where does it end, and how do we get off of this ride?
While we intellectually realize that there are people far worse off than ourselves, we are mired too deep to have this same understanding on an emotional level; and so the spiral continues. Even our prayers seem to get no higher than the ceiling, and worse yet seem to bounce right back onto our heads. Where do we turn when even God doesn’t seem to be listening? What happens when the light of the world is shrouded by the darkness of our situation?
One of the first things to recognize is that we deserve nothing better than we are getting; in fact we deserve far worse. Our sin destined us to an eternity separated from God. There is nothing we can do to earn back His favor or redeem ourselves from this plight. Fortunately the story does not end there. Let me quote a line from the chorus of the song mentioned above: “I deserve all the worst, yet You offer mercy.” We are lost except for the gracious mercy of God. Instead of being condemned by our sin, we are redeemed through His Son. Our debt is paid forever. When God looks at us, He only sees Jesus.
Once we understand this truth, it becomes ludicrous to think God doesn’t hear our prayers. We know He always hears Jesus (John 11:41-42), and since Jesus has wrapped Himself around us, God always hears our prayers. The illusion of our prayers hitting the ceiling is a masterful deception created by none other than Satan. The devil wants to convince you that God doesn’t exist, or at least that He doesn’t care. The heartaches and mistakes in our life are the results of sin somewhere along the line. After all, God created a perfect world without tears or pain. One sin created an avalanche of circumstances that continue to play out in the lives of everyone today.
Satan loves to cloud our clarity. When he deceives us into believing that God is far away or unconcerned, we become despondent and don’t know where to turn. We would indeed be lost if Christ had not died for us and extended His mercy to comfort and cover us. When you are discouraged, depressed, or otherwise disengaged, focus on the mercy of God. Re-focus your thoughts on Him and meditate on everything He endured on your behalf. His grace is sufficient for your every heartache. While we truly deserve the worst, He offers mercy. Re-focus on God and let Jesus restore your clarity.