Recently, while enjoying craft time with my granddaughter, Violet, she said to me, “Well, did you know Nana, it’s going to be my first day at preschool. So, Mommy will come with me to watch me.”
“Oh, that will be exciting,” I responded.
“Well, you know, Nana, Mommy will be cheering me on!”
She gestured with her hands waving, palms up. Her smile crinkled her nose and her eyes. The truth of her statement could only be interpreted as overwhelming delight.
Cheering me on! Oh, how I felt caught in her confidence! I could picture the moment: a mom on the sidelines as her child runs onto the field to take part in a new game, to move through a new experience, to step into a new role.
Cheering me on! I allowed this phrase to settle into my heart over the past few days. It led my thoughts as I prayed.
I pictured the seasons of my life cascading before me, down the sheer drop of a memory waterfall that could threaten to suck me over and into an endless vortex of regret. Except that at the edge of the waterfall, stands my Lord and Saviour. And He’s…why He’s cheering me on!
Not to jump into the thundering swirl of tumultuous transgressions, but to cross over and above it. He’s cheering me on!
I can’t let go of this image.
How appropriate as September unravels its days into the high school football season. Both our sons devoted their fall months to honing their skills as defensive backs on the Springbank Phoenix football team. How many games did I run up and down the side lines cheering them on? How many times did I hold my breath as helmets banged loudly, bodies crashed into each other and players unwound themselves out of a heap of tangled limbs? Even when I knew they were properly equipped to handle the plays on the field, I still prayed for their protection. I still cheered them on in quiet and loud cries that poured forth from a mother’s loving heart.
What does the Lord’s cheering sound like? How do I know He is cheering me on?
I believe I have entered into a Season of Mercy. A season in which each morning I acknowledge the blessings He has afforded me through His mercy. Then I ask, who can I show mercy to, for you, Lord?
The words from Isaiah 45:4-5 resonate within me as I seek to understand this Season of Mercy as I enter my sixties.
This decade promises to bring new playing fields of opportunity into my life. If I listen for Him to call me, if I trust that He has equipped me (or embraced and armed me), surely, I can pursue the purposes He has designed for me. I don’t need to know all the details that will happen in each new day. I simply need to know that He will be cheering me on with quiet and loud cries from deep within a loving Lord’s heart.
In Romans 12 (TPT version) Paul says, “God’s marvellous grace imparts to each one of us a grace-gift.” We come fully equipped to our playing field and He cheers us on to use our gifts. Through the years I’ve come to identify that I often use the gift of compassion, or Mercy, in my relationships with others. Today as I read Romans 12:6-8 again I focus on the line “if you have the gift of showing compassion, then flourish in your cheerful display of compassion.”
Oh Lord, I pray I will come ready to suit up in your gift, to fully embrace and arm myself with your Mercy so that it can flow to others. So that I can properly cheer on others in compassionate and caring ways.
I think of my granddaughter animated and sparkling with the very idea of her Mommy cheering her on. She doesn’t have any preconceived notion of a cheerleader at a game. She pictures a loving mother providing a smiling face or a thumbs up “you can do it” wave. She knows her mother will be by her side no matter what happens.
In this Season of Mercy, I hope to respond to others in cheerful displays of compassion. I hear my Lord, I see my Lord, and I know my Lord is with me, cheering me on!
At this point, my husband enters the room to bring me a cup of coffee. He listens as I lament over how to find the right finish to this blog post. He has no idea what I have been writing.
“You have such joy when you talk about writing, even when you are frustrated,” he says. “I can see it emanating from you, with your smile lighting up your entire face.”
And there it is, The Lord, my Lord, cheering me on through my husband.
This is my Season of Mercy. I hope to let His mercy flow to others in circumstances only He knows will unfold.
Thank you, dear, sweet Lord, for cheering me on!
Can you hear Him? How is He cheering you on?