presents the Boy & the Cabin series 1
A true story about a boy and the cabin he learned about God in.
Written by Vaughan Durston, Founding President of U.B. David & I'll B. Jonathan, Inc.
Lesson 5: Grace and Mercy
To hear this story read by the author, click the play button:
Mr. Campbell wanted us to know the difference between grace and mercy.
Ephesians 2:8 says, "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God".
I had heard the word grace because my mother used it often when talking to us about our chores. Grace is giving you something you don't deserve.
One of the chores my twin, Con, and I had was filling the wood box for mother's cook stove in the kitchen. We were given this job when we were 10 years old. My two older brothers had it until then, but one day Dad decided to promote them to other work, which looked more interesting to us. Unfortunately for us, the next member in our family was our sister and we knew she would never be given this job!
Mother had a rule for the wood box. If her wood box wasn't full by supper time, there would be no supper for those who were supposed to fill it. A number of times we would be sitting at the table, hoping that mother would say it was time for supper. Instead she would walk over to the wood box, lift up the lid, and say, "I see my wood box isn't full."
One look at us from mother told us to whom she was talking. She could have called out, "Supper time!" but, instead, she would say, "I'm going to give you five minutes grace." We would scramble out to the wood pile and get that wood in the wood box before supper. (Thanks, Mother, for your grace and mercy. Supper tasted really good!)
While grace is getting what we don't deserve, mercy is not getting what we do deserve. I'll tell you about Ted and the mercy he received.
We had twenty horses on our farm and one of those horses was a fellow named Ted. He was a different horse. For one thing, he was strawberry in color, but beside that he was always getting into things. If the gate was open he would be out into the crop. If he could find a spot in the fence, he would be pushing his way through it. If he had been a person, I'm sure Mr. Campbell would have said he was a real sinner!
One day, I found Ted in real trouble because he did something he shouldn't have done. He was stuck in the mud in what we called the dam. How he got in there we weren't sure, but he was in up to his neck in water and mud. Only a small strip down his back was left showing. He couldn't move and was sinking lower and lower every minute.
I ran for help as fast as I could. I ran and told my Dad who called on some neighbours for help and got a long, heavy rope and the tractor. How do you think they got Ted out of this mud when he was in it up to his neck? They threw one end of the rope around Ted's neck and tied the other end to the tractor. By then I'm sure Ted wanted to be saved, but it was just about too late. Slowly, the tractor inched forward and amazingly Ted was pulled out of that mud! There he was, plastered with mud, but standing safely on solid ground. After they washed him off, he looked as good as new. Ted was saved from drowning in mud that day, even though he deserved to drown. That was mercy.
When Mr. Campbell heard the story about Ted, he sang a song about the Lord lifting our feet from the miry clay and setting them on the rock to stay. The mud that we are stuck in is sin. Some people are "stuck in the mud" of drinking or smoking; others may have bad morals, or bad attitudes. Some people steal or swear. Some may even have problems with all of these. At the beginning we feel that these things are harmless and fun. Ted thought it would be fun to go into the mud but soon he found out that he was trapped and couldn't get out. Ted needed help. "Did Ted die in the mud?" Mr. Campbell asked. "No, but he needed someone to save him," I replied. Mr. Campbell told us that we all need to admit we need to be saved from our sins.
The Bible says, in Romans 6:23—"…for the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord."
Just as Ted needed someone to save him, we need to realize that we are sinners and need a Saviour to rescue us out of the "mud" of sin. Mr. Campbell said, "Right now, some of us need to bow our heads and tell Jesus we are sinners, ask him to come into our hearts (lives) and save us." I had asked Jesus into my heart earlier at the age of ten, but several did accept Him that night in the cabin. "Praise God!" exclaimed Mr. and Mrs. Campbell, "He took our feet from the miry clay and set our feet on the rock to stay!" He sure did.
Have you been saved from your sins? Or are you, like Ted, stuck in the "mud" of sin? You could bow your head right now and tell God you are a sinner needing to be saved. Ask Jesus to come into your heart and wash your sins away. By God's grace and mercy, He then saves us from the penalty and power of sin, and promises us eternal life with Him. Tell us if you accept Jesus as your Saviour—you can use the bottom of the Question Page, if you like. We'd love to hear that you did this.