Sunday, September 20, 2009

Tender Mercies

Recently, in a conversation with a friend, I was reminded of the phrase "tender mercies" and specifically, "the tender mercies of the Lord." I love those two words when they stand alone and when they stand together! "Tender" and "Mercy". They're calming, peaceful and reassuring words to me. I liked this one definition of "tender" that I found: "considerate and protective; or given to sympathy or sentimentality". I think that suits what the Lord is really doing!

But, as I think about my life, especially recently, I feel like I have had many "tender mercies of the Lord" and it has been very reassuring and comforting. To me, it's mostly the small things that happen in my life... things that happen not just by coincidence... or things that work out when I previously saw no possible way for it to do so... or people being in the right place at the right time... or having unplanned for conversations that are beneficial to me in one way or another.

Mostly... it's just how things seem to work out... really, for the best. Oh - Wow! Did I just really say that?!! Did those thoughts come from MY HEAD? I was so doubtful over these past few months... lacking faith... and really questioning what I was doing. When, yet, I still had moments of peace that all would work out! And, it's still "in process" but it's looking pretty good! Maybe it's not working out how I imagines it would back in March or April... but I'm happy with how things are. Very Happy!

And, maybe things don't always work out in the time I'd like it to, but with time and retrospection... things work out and to me that is a combination of many "tender mercies of the Lord."

So, I decided I wanted to learn more about this phrase this week and see what I could find. In the scriptures I found in the Book of Nephi that tender mercies are given to everyone... because of their faith. I think this also goes hand in hand with BEING WILLING to recognize and acknowledge it's a tender mercy and not something I did solely on my own... or just by chance/randomly! The timing of the "tender mercy" can also help me recognize it... if I am willing to be humble and acknowledge it.

I LOVE how Elder Bednar defined the phrase when he stated: they are the very PERSONAL and INDIVIDULAIZED blessings, strength, protection, ASSURANCES, guidance, loving-kindnesses, consolation, SUPPORT, and spiritual gifts which we receive from and because of and through the Lord Jesus Christ. What is a tender mercy to me might be something silly and unmeaningful to someone else. I like thinking that.... because that reassures me that the Lord knows me individually!

The 46th section of the Doctrine & Covenants confirms this by stating that the Lord suits "his mercies according to the conditions of the children of men." Hmm... that phrase gives me a strong feeling of responsibility because if I want to continue to feel these PERSONAL and INDIVIDUALIZED blessings, I need to be living my life in order to recognize and accept them!

When I think of the multiple tender mercies in my life everyday it can be overwhelming. The gifts of my faith, forgiveness, persistence and peace of conscience I have in my life everyday! Then, add to that the specific tender mercies that change as the day goes by or my life moves forward. The simpleness of it... but the constancy... is so reassuring and comforting!

But, through all of this, I need to remember to not take them for granted. Because if I do, I will become lax in my diligence in making sure I am living worthy of them and recognizing them... and forgetting to express my gratitude to the Lord for them!

Maybe I should start a book like Oprah's gratitude book and write down a few tender mercy's that I saw in my life that day... hmm... that's a good thought!

1 comment:

michelle said...

I just had a conversation with my aunt about how we expect to be blessed when we are living righteously but a lot of times we expect certain blessings. However, sometimes don't turn out at all how we expected and yet it turns out so good. I read a quote once that said, "When we look back on our lives, the one thing we will be shocked to find is that we really received all the things we ever wanted." And yet we can't always see it happening and we don't understand and we think we need certain things to fulfill our needs and wants, but maybe the Lord knows that we need something different and actually want something different. Anyway, I am babbling, but I think you're great and you're such an example to so many people. Tender mercies are everywhere.