How blessed are those who show mercy! For they will be shown (given eyes to see, a heart to give) mercy.
How blessed are those who are persecuted because they pursue righteousness (chase mercy)! For the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs. (Now and forever)
On a tombstone somewhere in the holy land the inscription reads that the one for which the grave serves as a resting place; that they spent much of life under the oppression of persecution but after having been freed from Auschwitz-Birkenau they spent the rest of their life chasing Chesed. Chesed is the Hebrew word for mercy, release from judgement, forgiveness granted without delay, and without need for retribution.
It strikes me as something of a mystery that one who suffers and could thereby live their life in bitterness or reclusion due to such torture at the hand of mankind’s cruelty; would spend their life chasing mercy.
Well, it’s not so much a mystery to me because of Yeshua (Jesus) who Is Chesed. But it stops one in their tracks and makes you want to take notice at least a little, right? My guess is much like one did with Yeshua Himself – still does.
We spend so much time trying to dissect and minimize our sufferings. Countless hours in therapy, and so much wasted breath pushing air in and out attempting to discern “who errored” ourselves, others or even God when suffering happens to us. I find this usually points to the severity of the suffering. Not to minimize anyone’s suffering, but here in the USA, we have very little concept of it really. Mostly the suffering that is not called suffering in Biblical terms but really just the way of life; loss of life, financial hardships, illness, etc. The suffering of such as those who are beaten repeatedly and made to slave in working conditions that would and is designed to kill even the hardiest human. .. this is an American unknown. The Auschwitz kind of suffering leaves no room for one to assign blame and manipulate how they can use their victimology to evade life more. They dont expect to see the “end” of it. Something happens inside the womb of this kind of suffering that gives birth to a new creature much like Yeshua speaks of in being born again. Chasing mercy. .. chasing… running after… the art of forgiving. Looking for places to forgive; people to forgive or asking the Father to forgive…every minute of every day. Instead of looking for offense, looking for how ones rights are being violated, usurped, taken. What do we really have a “right” to? Given by God Almighty?
Mercy to receive from Him.
And if received to be given away just as He has given.
Waking up everyday to “put on our running shoes” to give mercy, live mercy, be merciful, receive mercy from God. Chasing Chesed. Not walking towards it… but running. Like a child chases a butterfly until they catch it. Having caught it they cup it into their hands and run to show mom or dad…”Look! Look what I caught!”
My life has seen such an absence of even normal life suffering. My loved ones have mostly died of old age. The ones that haven’t I was not really close to or did not know well due to the fact that I was so young when they died. Illness has not found its lethal teeth among my family or friends. Hardships in life all normal and mostly consequential. Hard, yes but hardly the Auschwitz kind. Yet all this in review and pulled under a scrutinized thumb has still produced a chasing Chesed heart in me. How can this be?
There’s a stigma in christianity that seems to go like this. The more one suffers the better, stronger and more holy they are. I think this is sideways a bit. It’s what we do with whatever suffering God sets before someone that dictates how strong He becomes in them. Putting suffering on a scales in human measure is tantamount to judgement. Everything that causes one to reach out and say “I can’t do this without You God!” – this is what comes under the heading of character building, persevering, soul climbing out of this world and into Abba’s lap stuff. Degrees to suffering is pointless. Throw out the scales. God is the only One who can measure.
What makes you chase Chesed?
What makes you want to give it out like candy? What makes you yearn to forgive and see others forgiven? What makes you cast away any concept of offense? What makes you willing to give up on having “rights” instead of protesting to have more?
For within the bound of this kind of thinking; sufferings have a new name – Joy. Not happy, smiley, warm and fuzzy, giddy emotions. But deep well, beyond the tears that cascade from your soul because He lives – Joy. His will be done – Joy. The Lord gives and He takes – Joy. It is as He wills – Joy. Nothing is loss – Joy. His presence is all that I need – Joy. Indeed we can be wretched and twisted in pain and approach the Throne of heaven with this Joy. Not pastey, grin and bear it, put on a good face, pull yourself up by the bootstrap foolishness. But a real human being full of all its strengths and weakness, scorning the shame of its fallen nature but rising up with Yeshua from the grave that wins the victory – humbly but boldly crawling into the lap of the Father for every need and want and desire. Joy. Chasing Chesed is the key to this mystery.
These are the shoes of readiness spoken of in the armory closet we are instructed to put on every day. Not preaching the Gospel… but living it. Chasing Chesed.
What do you chase?
Grace and peace in Yeshua the Messiah