And he surely was ill; in fact, he almost died. But God had mercy on him—and also on me, so that I would not have such unbearable sorrow.
God is indeed the God of mercy. Paul’s companion, Epaphroditus, almost died for the cause of Christ. He was evidently bringing Paul aid when his overtaxed body became sick to the point of death. At the last possible moment, God mercifully stepped in and spared his life.
The prophet Isaiah spoke eloquently of this merciful God. In speaking of His care for His people Israel, he said, “In all their suffering he also suffered, and he personally rescued them. In his love and mercy he redeemed them. He lifted them up and carried them through all the years”
(Isaiah 63:9). God’s Holy Spirit brought the Israelites out of Egypt, and in their destitution, He fed them, provided for them, and even carried them when they could not walk.
We do our best to walk with God, but sometimes He simply must carry us. At those times when our human flesh is so frail that we feel we cannot go on, God’s mercy takes over. It is our source of strength and comfort in every situation.
Walk if you can, and run if you can. Most of the time your legs and your faith will be strong. But if your strength is gone, jump into His mighty arms of mercy and say, “Father, carry me!”