“Be merciful to me, Lord, and restore my health”.
Ps 41:10 GNB
Most people have heard of “Murphy’s Law”- If anything can go wrong it will! That difficult, stubborn aspect of human existence has also been referred to as “The general cussedness of life”. Ill health is one element in that trouble that dogs so many people. But there are plenty of others, including the lack of money and the difficulty of managing it properly, the trouble caused by conflict and rivalry, changing technology, accidents that cause serious injury, natural disasters such as flood and drought, and political upheaval of many kinds.
The man in Psalm 41, suffering seriously from an illness, and experiencing malicious gossip and gloating from other people, turned and prayed to God. In his prayer he asked for God to be merciful towards him. Asking for mercy was not only a plea for physical recovery. He needed God’s mercy so that he could be forgiven for his sins which he believed had caused his illness.
But we need God’s mercy in the whole of our lives in order to cope with the endless flow of problems, large and small, that come our way. Whilst every one is a challenge to our courage, determination and imagination, they can mount up with unrelenting frequency that can sometimes leave us feeling that we are going “bonkers” under the strain. The Christian disciple, like the psalmist, asks for God’s mercy, but also for the patience of Christ. Disciples affirm Paul’s assertion “I have the strength to face all conditions by the power that Christ gives me” (Phil 4:13 GNB). And by his mercy.
PRAYER THOUGHT Lord, help me, by your mercy, to cope with all life’s stresses.