Ps 6:1-3 O Lord, do not rebuke me in your anger or discipline me in your rage. Have compassion on me, Lord, for I am weak. Heal me, Lord, for my bones are in agony. I am sick at heart. How long, O Lord, until you restore me?

This passage can be many things to many people but I want to focus on the mercy of God. David wrote this during a time of severe illness. He thought that God allowed him to be sick because God was angry with him, so he appealed to God’s grace and mercy for forgiveness.

Have you ever thought that? Yes, some question when illness strikes. We all can wonder if God is punishing us for something, we did or did not do but is that all there is to this dilemma of life.

In the health care profession, I have come across this question frequently.  Not all sickness is God disciplining us for sin or disobedience in our lives.  Sometimes sickness just reminds us that we live in a world filled with the corruption of decay and disease.  Every situation is different sometimes it is because God allows the illness.  Problems in our life, including illness, helps us become stronger and can bring us closer to God.  That is when he lets us see his mercy in action.

What is mercy? One definition is “compassion or forgiveness shown toward someone, instead of using one’s power to punish or harm.” Another is “a love that responds to human need in an unexpected or unmerited way.” At its core, it is forgiveness or unmerited favor. That is exactly what David needed in his life during this time. Did David deserve God’s mercy? If God only gave us what we deserve, would any of us live long and fruitful lives? God in His mercy forgives us instead of giving us what we deserve. Thank God!

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