June 29, 2010
. . . But he that trusteth in the LORD, mercy shall compass him about. Psalm 32:10b (KJV)
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, almost 34 percent of American adults are obese.
That causes problems. It causes problems when a person is living. It causes problems after a person dies.
To answer the second problem there is a company in Lynn, Indiana, which has adopted as its specialty the making of extra-extra-large caskets. Adopting the descriptive name, Goliath Casket, they are building "standard" caskets which are up to 52 inches across and are designed to hold someone who weighs around 1,000 pounds.
The owner of Goliath Casket handles his work with empathy and concern. He says, "It is terribly, terribly, sad, you're talking about something that's going to have to be moved with some kind of machinery."
As I thought about some of the larger folks who would use the products of Goliath Casket, I wondered how do they get clothes? How do they get anything to fit?
That was when the words of the Psalmist came to mind: "But he that trusteth in the Lord, mercy shall compass him about." That is an incredibly comforting sentence.
No matter how big a person may become -- as in large in physical size or in the sins which have been committed -- it is impossible to outstrip the Lord's mercy.
Understand, we're not talking about a one-size-fits-all kind of mercy and grace here. No, indeed. The Lord tailors His love for each of us, according to our situation and our need.
Anyone who has any doubt of that needs only look to the Savior. Watch how He dealt with people when He was on earth. He spoke to one person differently than He did another. One individual would be touched and healed immediately; another would be given words to mend a troubled heart; the proud and pompous would be challenged.
Jesus handled them all in different ways, but nobody -- let me repeat that -- nobody ever escaped or outgrew His capacity for caring.
And that fact, my friends, is an incredible joy. God's grace and mercy are each individually tailored for every one of us. His forgiveness covers our particular sins. We are "compassed about."
Scripture says it rightly, "For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Romans 6:23).
THE PRAYER: Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for Your great love which sent Your Son to pay the price for our redemption from sin, Satan, and death. Thank You for showing special care, special love, special mercy, and special forgiveness for me. May I live in appreciation of what You have done. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries