I had to change the tires on my car last week, and I found out that two of the old tires were really bad–the tire was starting to split apart and bubble up in places. That was rather sobering, as I thought about all the places I had been driving, and who had been riding in the car with me, and how likely it could have been for one of those tires to blow out. Then it was sobering in a different way as I reflected on the fact that a blow-out had not happened.
It made me stop and think, “How many of God’s mercies are like that–unseen in the moment and perhaps never even realized at all?” Usually when I think of God’s mercy, I think of Him healing or helping or saving someone out of a difficult situation. In those cases, the need is very apparent and God’s mercy is clearly seen. But what about all those places where we are not even aware of our need and God’s mercy is not overt rescue but quiet prevention?
My daughter recently side-swiped a pickup truck with her car, but there was hardly any damage and the other driver was very kind. In that case, too, I realized how merciful God had been–if the car she hit had been a brand new Porsche, or the driver had been money-hungry, or her friend hadn’t been in the car with her, the results could have been drastically different. That was God’s mercy.
How many other unseen mercies do we receive every day? We would likely be blown away by the sheer number of instances where God’s mercy holds back evil or prevents calamity or nudges us in the right direction, all without fanfare or recognition. We praise Him for His visible mercies–especially in the Cross–but we do well to also notice the hidden mercies that indeed are new every morning.