Now, before you get all nervous, the fiction part is a book review, on Ann Tatlocks's novel, Sweet Mercy, which I received for free from Bethany House to read and review. A departure from my preferred time period of historical fiction, this book was well written and kept me turning the pages from beginning to end. Set during the era of Prohibition, Sweet Mercy offers a look at a troubled time in our nation's history, and how it affected so many people. I found myself relating to the main character on many levels, in her struggle with self-righteousness and her adamant view that everything in life is either black or white, right or wrong. This book raises thought-provoking questions about morality and ethics, and will challenge readers to consider what their own response might have been in that situation. The characters are well developed and the story line moves along at a nice pace.
Now for the facts. You need mercy. I need mercy. Without the Lord's mercy, we would be utterly destroyed in a moment. The Bible says that because of his mercies, "we are not consumed, for his compassions fail not." Let me be real with you for a minute. The last month+ has been rough. Like, really rough. And I can't even tell you why. Yes, we had illnesses and surgeries and more illness and poison ivy, but nothing was so terrible in and of itself. Maybe it was the culmination of it all, I don't know. But I know that I felt consumed, and not in a good way. Consumed by anger, by never-ending frustration, by this permeating heaviness that I couldn't seem to shake. I begged God daily to help me, and repented nightly for all the times I failed each day. And they were many, let me tell you! I can't remember a time that I disliked myself more than the last 6 or so weeks. But the Lord's mercies!! How I would love to tell you that I had this supernatural encounter with the Holy Spirit in my prayer time, or even in church. But it's not happening that way. Instead, I see God's mercy in small things, in everyday things. Just when I think I can't go one more day, one more minute, God's mercy is there. Even when I don't feel helped, HE is helping me. I know this because I am still here, my children are all in one piece, and my husband still loves me :) Seriously, though, He must be helping me, and has sent very precious people to help me when I needed it most. I'd also love to tell you that everyday is perfect, all rainbows and sunshine now, and that I never get angry or annoyed or frustrated, that I never yell or speak harshly to a member of my family. But you'd know I was lying, so I won't bother! But I will tell you that it's better than it was, and we can only go up from here!
I really have no idea how many people actually read this blog, or who you are who are reading right now, but let me just say this: Whatever you are going through, however you are feeling, whatever wrong choices you have made today...mercy is there. It is for you, the Lord is offering it freely. Accept it, rejoice in it, and allow it to change you. Praise the Lord, for his mercy endures forever.