My family deals with a local business for goods and services a couple of times a year. We’ve enjoyed a mutually beneficial arrangement for many years now and we’ve gotten to the point where we are on a first name basis with most of the staff. This business relationship has gotten more personal as we’ve gotten to know each other and my trust in them has grown as they have proven themselves over the years.
But now, for the first time, we’ve run into a problem. The single largest order that I have ever made with them for a part seems to be stuck in limbo. Because they are a successful business they are in the middle of an expansion project and it seems like during their office move some records got misplaced and no one is quite sure if my part has arrived or where it might be.
If this was just a simple order and pay for it later type of thing then it wouldn’t be a big deal. But because of the special nature of the part and the customization it required we were required to pay up front at the time the order was placed. We were told it would take around two weeks. It has now been more than a month due to the complications with the move.
I spoke with someone in the office recently and it seemed like the move and expansion was still under way. And because it is now the end of the year and the Holidays are upon us, it may be sometime after the first of the year before they are able to deliver the part. What should have taken two weeks will probably end up taking over two months.
I’ve been tempted to complain to the owner and make a bit of a fuss. As a consumer it would be within my rights to do so. But as soon as I had the urge a thought popped in to my head. The thought was “well, here’s an opportunity for mercy”. I can assure you this thought did not originate in my flesh. My flesh knows only selfishness and the concepts of grace and mercy can only come from the Father through the Spirit.
Despite the fact that I could claim my right to ask for my money back or take my business elsewhere or even complain in any number of different ways the Holy Spirit has prompted me not to do so and to be patient. And in doing so, I am reminded of what God did for me and for all mankind. I am reminded that we celebrate Christmas because God had an opportunity for mercy and sent Jesus Christ to die for our sins and be the savior of the world. I am reminded that God is patient with us despite our failings and our weakness.
In the end, as a child of God, I choose to forfeit my rights in favor of the better, more perfect will of Him who died for me. But even as I make that decision I know that there will be more opportunities for mercy in the days ahead and not just for me but for all of God’s children. My prayer is that we set our flesh aside and choose the path of grace and mercy because in doing so we show forth the attributes of our Savior.