I remember the first time I heard that term and wondered about it. We were preparing for a long trip to visit family over Christmas, and we had some folks over for dinner the night before we left. Before we began our meal, the man prayed and asked for travelling mercies for us.
I think even then I had a pretty good idea what that meant as a concept and have prayed that same prayer for others as well as ourselves over the years, but yesterday as I was stuck in what I thought was a traffic jam caused by construction, I began thinking a little bit about what exactly we are asking the Lord for when we ask for traveling mercies. Safety, for sure. An easy worry free drive. That the weather would cooperate, and perhaps an avoidance of other inconveniences. Traveling mercies (simplified) are a request for smooth sailing to surround the traveler.
As we inched closer to the crest of the hill I could see brief flashes of emergency lights. That was when I realized that the traffic jam was not just construction, there had been some sort of wreck. As is the case when we see accidents or ambulances I began praying for those who may have been involved in the accident, that the injuries would be minimal and that the damage would be repairable.
As my car crested the hill I could see a group of officers and photographers cataloging something on the side of the road. Then, with a sinking heart I saw a motorcycle and a small motorcycle trailer just off the road, it looked as though it had been engulfed in flames at some point. The driver of the bike was nowhere to be seen. My heart sank and I cried out in prayer for the rider.
Today I learned that the riders were part of the Rolling Thunder Memorial Ride which makes its way out to Washington DC to honor the fallen soldiers during Memorial Day weekend. The driver of the bike has joined his fallen brothers, while his rider is fighting for her life.
Traveling mercies. This term has brought new meaning today. I have a new perspective, and it is this, every moment of the day is a journey. Rather than just pray for traveling mercies for friends, loved ones, and self at the start of a trip, beginning today I am going to pray for JOURNEY MERCIES.
Each day we are on a journey toward achieving God’s purpose for our lives. Even when we don’t leave the couch that journey continues. Today my prayer is that focus will be on the Lord and His will, that He is represented in every opportunity, that there be a continual desire to grow in faith and in dedication to His word. Prayer to be equipped to handle the challenges that will inevitably come, and that His guidance is sought in all things. Journey mercies.
And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God. May you be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy. Colossians 1:9-11