The Bible promises that God’s grace and mercy will follow us all the days of our lives (Psalm 23:6). Because of His goodness towards us, we are enabled to extend the same to others.
I had two dreams recently which highlighted for me the need to show grace and mercy as a lifestyle. They were little dramatized sermonettes specially sent to me for the purpose of teaching me how to show mercy and graciousness through my actions, and how to extend grace in my dealings with people on a daily basis.
In the first dream I was lining up in a cafe at a university. There were two lines and one had formed illegally trying to push in to the original. There was a lot of fighting going on as the second line tried to push in to the first. The second line eventually broke up but two girls persisted in their attempts to jump the line, but they were rebuffed by those already in it. No one was showing any mercy! Eventually I reluctantly let them in. I felt obligated to help them, but I lacked grace in doing so. I was quite judgemental. Mercy prevailed, but not very graciously!
I eventually bought a pie, but when I got around to eating it I was all by myself and the pie was cold. I didn’t eat it, and when I went back to the cafeteria it was closed except for a $1 donation for left overs.
Two scriptures immediately came to mind:
“There is he who withholds but it tends only to poverty.” (Proverbs 11:24)
“God does not give him power to eat.” (Ecclesiastes 6:1)
There I was, allegorically speaking, in the cafeteria of life, and because I had a poor attitude and was ungracious towards others in the line, I myself went without.
The second dream, which immediately followed the first, was a wonderful picture of graciousness.
I dreamed I was in a lecture theatre and the professor was teaching on life psychology. After the lecture we were instructed to split up into small groups for discussion. I noticed one particular student looked a bit of an outcast, and was not included in any of the groups. I invited him to join our group, but he declined the offer. I felt compassion for him, and was disappointed he didn’t join us, but at least I invited him to do so.
After our group discussion I told the professor I thought the lecture was very good. He casually left about $20 in small change on the table at the cafeteria – for me or anyone else who wanted it.
This second dream demonstrated graciousness in action, which I felt was the theme the Lord was trying to teach me. In the first dream there was a lack of graciousness in my actions and I suffered lack in my own life as a consequence. But in the second dream there was a big difference in my approach to others - I showed mercy and grace, and there was an abundance for everyone. What a wonderful lesson, and how God can teach us valuable lessons on life through dreams!
My summary interpretation of these two dreams is that grace will get us ahead in life, but withholding grace and mercy from others, will always come back to hurt us.
Upon waking I remembered a line from the song by Bob Dylan “Every grain of sand”:
Don't have the inclination to look back on any mistake
Like Cain, I now behold this chain of events that I must break
In the fury of the moment I can see the master's hand
In every leaf that trembles, in every grain of sand.
“He has shown you O man what is good, and what does the Lord require of thee? But to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God.” Micah 6:8
Grace and mercy, that’s what the Lord wants from us. He offers us a fountain of grace and mercy, and He wants it to flow out from us also, so He can show mercy and grace to the whole world through us.
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