Sunday, March 11, 2012

God Be Merciful

 Quite some time ago I read an article in Christian History magazine about Harold John Ockenga.  Ockenga was a great influence on Billy Graham. The article said that when Rev. Ockenga was on his death bed many of his confidants were around him giving him encouragement concerning his life of ministry.  He did not respond (he was barely conscious) to the offerings of encouragement and the compliments concerning his life's work.  Here is an excerpt from the article telling about what words DID cause Ockenga to respond.



 "Although Ockenga was too weak to respond, none of the comments seemed to be bringing him the peace and comfort the elders hoped they might be able to convey. Then one of the elders leaned forward and quietly commented, "Well, Harold, I suggest that when you see the Master, just say, 'God be merciful to me a sinner.'" Tears began to flow down Ockenga's cheeks."
Here's the link to the article in Christian History.
 Why do we struggle so as we try to determine our own significance?  We are all sinners.  Our Jesus understands our "sheep-ness" and has great mercy upon us.  I am so moved by the truth told in Ockenga's response.  After all his serving and working for the Lord, as he struggles with the end of his life, weak and tired, he knows the truth.  He needs the mercy of the Grace Giver. 
 (photo from Debbie at Artful Aspirations)
 Jesus said we should become like children, small and helpless, sure that we are in great need of the Savior.  Blessed are the poor in spirit.
I'm joining Floss and her friends for A Pause in Lent.  Pop over and treat yourself to some challenging thoughts, if you'd like.
Thank you so much for peeking in on me today.

14 comments:

Left-Handed Housewife said...

Beautiful post, Pom Pom! I'll carry it with me today, for pondering and comfort.

xofrances

Floss said...

This is totally and utterly in tuen with what God has been gettig through to me in the last day or two. He's made me realise that I was aiming to please him and impress him, instead of just being with him as a grateful child. Thank you, Pom Pom.

Betty said...

Thankyou Pompom, I enjoyed your post today.

magsmcc said...

You know, His mercy. Those old bare pews. Us connecting with a merciful God in the bare pews of our chaotic lives. Thank you, PP. I need much mercy. But for it to pour upn us over and above what we can conceive. This is joyful stuff on old bare pews.

Sara said...

Thank you for this post today...it made my eyes tear up with Rev. Ockenga's because it's so true. His mercy is everlasting and His love so vast beyond all measure....

Lisa Richards said...

I'm thankful to Rev.Ockenga for his influence on Billy Graham! I came to know Jesus while watching a Billy Graham Crusade on TV in 1973.

I understand the Reverend's tears. There are so many things we do for God and people congratulate us for it. (Well, maybe not me personally.) But we only do it through God's mercy and empowerment. And so often we think too much about ourselves while doing these things. Yes, we all need God's mercy!

Blessings on you and yours!

wayside wanderer said...

I never tire of hearing the gospel. I need to hear it every day and I sure hope there are those around me on my dying bed who remind me of it then. It is what makes anything I do worthwhile now and forever more.

Gumbo Lily said...

As always, thank you for this thoughtful post. I'm so thankful that He forgives me....again and again.

Farm Girl said...

Thank you for that lovely reminder. I am thankful you wrote about this, I needed to hear it. It is all what Jesus did and nothing that I could ever do. I forget that and start trying to get there by my own efforts.
I hope you have a lovely new week.

A garden just outside Venice said...

Ciao PomPom!
Thank you for asking about my sinuses, I'm feeling pretty rubbish at the moment, blowing my nose all day :( ...how are you?
Hope you have a lovely week!
Michela x

melanie said...

Such a wonderful post Pom Pom, your blog always delights me :) xxx

Janette@Janette's Sage said...

Amen...nothing else needs to be said...AMEN!

GretchenJoanna said...

Thank you, Pom....it's a powerful story and so instructive.

The dB family said...

Absolutely lovely!! Thank you for sharing this, Pom Pom!

Blessings!
Deborah

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