Get to the Root of Things
I loved to pull weeds as a little girl. The idea of taking hold of something and pulling it up, root and all, gave me a sense of accomplishment. And as a grown woman, I still love getting down deep to the root of things – especially when I’m studying Scripture. Because the root is the most basic part of a word – it’s what’s left after everything else has been removed. It’s the heart of the matter that is firmly established and inextricably…well, rooted.
It turns out that the Hebrew word for mercy in Nehemiah 9:19 is the exact same word that’s used for compassions (also translated as mercy in some Bible versions) in Lamentations 3:22. And the root of it is to love deeply, to have mercy and tender affection, to be soft and cherishing and soothing – to behold with the most tender affection. And there’s nothing more inherently tender or soft or cherishing than a mother’s womb.
The womb is where He began to weave you. It says it right there in Psalm 139: He made you fearfully, with astonishment and awe. And He made you wonderfully – distinct and distinguished and altogether different, with woven skin-clothes of handpicked and carefully curated colors.
But sometimes, it’s hard to remember that. Sometimes, when you’re stuck in the perished hope of Lamentations 3:18 with a perfectly-woven body that happens to be perfectly incapable of doing what it was specifically created to do? Sometimes you want to question the Weaver in that Romans 9:20 kind of way.
But here’s the thing about being perfectly woven imperfectly (Paul says it’s true in Romans 9:23): God does it on purpose that He might make known the fullness and abundance and plentitude of the majesty of His saving grace-glory. It’s all there, tucked away in the rich wording of the original Greek. And do you know what Paul calls those perfectly-imperfect weavings? Vessels of mercy.
When you start to feel consumed with the imperfect weight of a long and drawn-out wait, take a look back at Lamentations 3:22-23, and God’s promise that through His mercies, you are not consumed. Because His compassionate womb-mercy never fails. It never miscarries. It’s never marked with complications. It’s never barren. It’s never born still.
And it’s new every morning.