Wow! I think this may be my new favorite verse!
You see, I am in NEED of mercy, grace and help from Christ right now as I am helping someone in need of mercy, grace and help. I don't even know if that makes sense to anyone but me.
My mother used to tell me, "Be careful what you pray for - you just might get it!" I've always thought that was a funny little saying and I have used it myself. But for years now I have been praying for someone I love who has made some poor choices and is now reaping the consequences of those choices.
My prayer has been that God would send someone, in some way, to help this person get their life right with Him and get beyond the muck and mire they are in. Well, it's been six years and I am seeing Him answer that prayer!
But, as my pastor said, "Sometimes the way God chooses to answer our prayer is not how we expect." Sometimes God chooses to use you and those you love to be His hands and feet in the very thing you've been praying about! Hence, "Be careful what you pray for - YOU just might get it!"
To clear the record - if I knew God would choose to use me and those I love to help this person find their way back to Christ and to walk the very difficult road on getting beyond the muck and mire they are in, I would still pray that prayer!
God is so merciful to us. He lavished grace upon us. How can we not do that for others? I have been guilty of thinking that I can serve Him by serving others and it be easy, neat and 'clean'. But in His mercy and grace Christ died a violent, bloody death separated from His Father (when God would not look on sin) to pay our sin debt so that we could experience God's mercy and grace.
How naive' I was to think you can 'serve' and 'work' for the kingdom and not get your hands 'dirty'? Trust me, it has not been and is not easy being a "player" in the prayer I have so long prayed. But if one soul is reconciled to my God, my Savior, my LORD, Jesus Christ, IT. IS. SO. WORTH. IT!!!!