His tender mercies

We can never be in any situation where God's love and care aren't at hand.

Like many others, I'm sure, I've always enjoyed exploring new places. One day ten years ago, I took my small son on a cave hike in the Cascade Mountains of Oregon. The cave was a popular one that is explored by many people every day. As we reached the deepest part of the cave, which was dimly lit by electric lights, I turned my ankle on a rock and pitched forward onto the floor of the cave. I had been carrying my son in front, and he went down under me as I fell.

As I rolled over and cradled my son, pain and self-condemnation swept over me. I felt foolish for having taken us both so far into a dim cave. Although he seemed OK, his head was scraped, my ankle throbbed, and I wondered about getting out of the cave.

From childhood, I had learned to turn quickly to God in prayer in any time of need, including an emergency like this one. Now, however, pain and growing concern made prayer difficult. But this time I didn't have to utter a prayer; it came to me instead. That Biblical phrase "his tender mercies" jumped to thought. The full quotation from Psalms is "The Lord is good to all: and his tender mercies are over all his works."

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January 7, 1991

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