If You Have Ever Wondered What a Tender Mercy Is...
On Saturday we were out walking the trail for our upcoming walk on June 22. (I hope you have saved the date!!) It is going to be an evening walk, so the temperature should be just right. We will be holding it in Utah County and I will give you all the details on Wednesday.
But for now, just pencil it in on your calendar for the evening of June 22.
Anyway, on Saturday we were out walking and my friend said, “When I started this challenge I had to spend some time learning what a tender mercy is. I always thought it had to be an amazing miracle…then I read the quote from Elder Bednar and realized I really could experience a tender mercy every single day.”
I came home and looked up the quote. It is such a good definition of what a tender mercy is. As you read look for the nine different definitions of a tender mercy…
Tender mercies are “very personal and individualized 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.” (David A. Bednar, “The Tender Mercies of the Lord,” Liahona, May 2005, 99–102)
Many people consider this type of blessing a coincidence. I have learned otherwise.
Often what we think of as a coincidence is really a tender mercy from the Lord.
I believe that there are two rules we can apply to a situation to see if it might be a tender mercy.
The first rule is found in D&C 46:15, “And again, to some it is given…according as the Lord will, suiting his mercies according to the conditions of the children of men.” (emphasis added)
From this scripture we learn that the Lord is able to suit his tender mercies according to the condition we are currently in.
The second rule is found in Alma 25:17, “the Lord had granted unto them according to their prayers, and …he had also verified his word unto them in every particular.” (emphasis added)
From this scripture we learn that the Lord is also aware of the particular needs that fill our life. These two scriptures lead us to believe that if a coincidence is suited to the condition we are in, and fills a particular need, it might not be a coincidence after all.
Instead, we should view it as a tender mercy from the Lord.
If our eyes are open to see and recognize the tender mercies, we will find that they are regular occurrences that make up the ordinary details of our life.
Learning to open our eyes and recognize the tender mercies that fill our lives will help us come to understand a very important reality, “what [God] has promised, he [is] able also to perform.” (Romans 4:21 emphasis added)
God does not just give us promises.
He is able also to perform those promises according to the conditions and the particular details of our life.
Sometimes when I find myself in awe of a carefully orchestrated tender mercy I am reminded of a scripture found in Deuteronomy that says, “When thou art in tribulation, and all these things are come upon thee…if thou turn to the Lord thy God…(For the Lord thy God is a merciful God;) he will not forsake thee…For ask now of the days that are past…and ask from the one side of heaven unto the other, whether there hath been any such thing as this great thing is, or hath been heard like it?” (Deuteronomy 4:31-32 emphasis added)
Our God is a merciful God.
He is able to send tender mercies in the ordinary moments of our life according to our conditions, suited to the particular moments we face.
If we watch for them they will become miracles amidst the ordinary details of our life.
Moments like this are often times unexplainable, but that doesn’t make them less real.
We can lift the hearts of those around us as we “Go home…and tell them how great things the Lord hath done for [us.]” (Mark 5:19)
It is a gift to learn to recognize these moments in the days that are past, and from the one side of heaven unto the other, to view the great things that happen in the ordinary details of life as tender mercies from the Lord.
I hope this challenge will help me to develop that gift.