Not-So-Tender Mercies

We talk a lot about the "tender mercies" of God, the wonderful things He does for us, and the ways we can see that in our lives. But what happens when these mercies aren't so "tender"? What about when life gets hard?

I have had so many blessings in my life, for which I am so grateful. But, like everybody, I've had my own times of trial and my own not-so-tender-mercies. Four that I remember in particular are:

- When my car was hit while parked in a public space and the driver didn't leave any information

- When my initial plans for university fell through and I was 5,000 miles from home without a plan

- When I thew up for 24 hours straight and my mom wasn't there to wash my face

- When an Icelandic volcano erupted and delayed my flight home for over a week

There wasn't anything easy or "tender" about any of these experiences. Each of them felt all-consuming at the time. And while remembering to keep faith in these circumstances was important, it wasn't going to pay for the deductible on my car insurance for an accident I wasn't responsible for. It also wasn't going to get me enrolled in college and find me a place to live. And it wasn't going to clear the volcanic ash that prevented me from flying. In each of these situations I needed help and I to do something. 

James 2:26

For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also. 

We love to share the stories of the Lord's "tender mercies", and that can be a great thing. But we also can't sugarcoat the hard times or expect for our problems to magically go away.

We can pray, and we can have faith, and we can trust in the Lord to help us. But when that is done, we need to get up off our knees and go to work. We need to call in the cavalry, pound the pavement, and put our faith into action.

Sometimes that looks like a midnight death run to Walgreens for 3 gallons (approximately) of Pepto Bismol. 

When I couldn't get home to my family, I was rescued by some people I love and whisked away to Disneyland until I could fly home. 

And other times it meant paying my dad back for 6 months to cover my deductible (thanks for not charging me interest).

Ultimately, it meant believing in the relationships and support network I had around me and trusting that they could support me when things fell apart. 

The mercies won't always be tender. The road won't always be easy. But that doesn't mean that I can expect to pray away my trials while sitting on my couch. After all, when Christ faced difficult circumstances, he didn't sit around waiting for things to change. He prayed, and put His faith into action. And that made all the difference. 


  1. I wish it was all rainbows and unicorns...but that isn't real life.

    "Nature is messy."

    Love, Mom

  2. I love that you are so honest. When life gives you lemons make lemon aid, right? I love the little cartoon that's a play on the "footprints" poem. I literally have felt that way sometimes. Wonderful. Keep up the great writing Marie!