Ian Nagata, a good friend and brother who is serving the Lord in Japan, wrote a song that has ministered to my heart many times since I first heard him share that song in our church. The words of the chorus are:
Even in the waiting
Beauty’s ever breaking
Though all hope be fading
Suffering is shaping
Through the devastation
Hides a true salvation
Measured by Your mercy
Working all for good
I appreciate the raw honesty and struggle expressed in Ian’s song, but even more I appreciate the strong sense of hope that underlies these words. As a child of God, I am certainly not exempt from hardship or suffering or loss, but suffering will not have the final word in my life. God is at work, sovereignly shaping my heart (and Ian’s heart) through the suffering that He brings our way.
The difficulties we face are not just randomly dumped on us; instead, they have been measured by God’s mercy. I love that line–“measured by Your mercy”! All that I face is “measured,” it is precisely what is needed–not too much or too little–in order to bring about the good that God has designed. And it is God’s mercy that measures my suffering–not His judgment. It comes from His heart of kindness toward me, even when it is a “severe mercy” that corrects and shapes and purifies.
Thank you, Ian, for ministering to me–and many others–through your music. And thank You, Father, for measuring out exactly what I need in this season where everything seems hard and I’m tempted to despair.