Well, when we think of the mercy of God, what comes to mind? Being spared from dying? Narrowly escaping a major physical injury? Having miraculous healing by the power of God? Amen, these things are all signs of the mercy of God. We also see His mercy in day-to-day ways that show His power and goodness to us. “Unless the LORD builds the house, its builders labor in vain. Unless the LORD watches over the city, the watchmen stand guard in vain.” Psalm 127:1
After Jackie finished canning for a week, things needed to be put away so I assisted her in taking the jars from the garage down to the basement to the canning shelf I had built last year. It is an adjustable shelf that allows for moving the pegs and changing the shelf heights accordingly. After taking the 24 quarts of peach jars down and loading them on a shelf, I was concerned with the amount of gap that was showing at the side of the shelf. Our basement floor is not completely level so the shelf has a slight skew to it that makes a gap appear at the end of the shelf. I thought, that needs some extra screws in that shelf to permanently secure it and make sure the jars don’t come crashing down. After loading the shelf with peaches that meant the top shelf was half full of grape juice, the second shelf was completely full with peaches, the third shelf was lined with cherry jam, pickles and salsa, the fourth was partially loaded with quarts of tomatoes and the fifth shelf had tomatoes and frosting. So it was a loaded shelf. I went outdoors to clean up some boxes and take them outside to give back to my mom who had let Jackie borrow them for the canning prep. As I was outside cleaning up and getting things arranged, Jackie hurried out looking for me. She wanted to know what had happened? I looked inquisitively at her wondering what she was talking about. She said, “I heard a huge crash and wondered if you were hurt!”
“No,” I replied, “I have been outside here working.”
Then it dawned on me, the shelves had come crashing down while I was outside. Oh no!
“Was it a big crash you heard?” I inquired of Jackie.
“Yes, very big, in fact, it was more than one crash.”
I was quite grieved and a bit frustrated that I had just ruined the work Jackie and Ruth had so painstakingly and faithfully completed. All week’s canning, plus last year’s tomatoes, pickles, salsa, jelly, grape juice¦I was getting sick to my stomach.
“Let’s go look at it.” I sighed.
As we went down into the basement, each step down the stairs drew us closer and closer to ground zero of the devastation. As we turned the corner to view the wreckage I stood and stared in amazement. All the shelves were sitting on top of each other stacked nicely at the bottom of the shelf with all of the jars still on the shelves! It was a miracle. One peach jar had fallen off the second shelf about 3 feet up and hit the basement floor. The canning lid did not even come ajar and the quart jar did not break. Mind you, the entire shelf was filled with glass jars! Nothing broke or was damaged. As the second shelf of peaches had given way to the weight, it slammed down on the third shelf bending the pegs and releasing it to crash down on the forth shelf. The forth did the same, until shelves 2, 3 and 4 were all perched so carefully on the bottom shelf, it was as if an angel had gently set them down making sure nothing was damaged. We cried out to the Lord in joy and thanksgiving for His marvelous mercy on behalf of men. We truly remembered that “Unless the LORD builds the house, its builders labor in vain. Unless the LORD watches over the city, the watchmen stand guard in vain.” Psalm 127:1 Today, I plan to put screws in ALL the shelves now that God has been so merciful to us, even when our building skills lack. He is the perfect builder and defender!