Out of the depths I cry to you, O Lord, hear my voice. Let your ears be attentive to my cries for mercy. If you, O Lord, kept a record of sins, Lord, who could stand? But with you there is forgiveness, therefore you are feared. I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in his word I put my hope. My soul waits for the Lord more than watchmen wait for the morning, more than watchmen wait for the morning. O Israel, put your hope in the Lord, for with the Lord is unfailing love and with him is full redemption. he will redeem Israel from all their sins. (Psalm 130:1-8, NIV)
Most often, the cry for mercy comes out of a deep sense of desperation and powerlessness. It comes when we finally realize that we are unable to control and manage things on our own. There are, of course, times when we have the illusion of control, and thus a lesser sense of our own inability to arrange life for ourselves, but it is just a mirage. Before long the truth is revealed, chaos once again rears its head, and we are reminded of our deep need for mercy. So we, like the psalmist, cry out to God, and wait for him to come and intervene. It is incredibly humbling.
There is nothing quite like waiting in the life of the Spirit. It accomplishes so many good things within us. And one of the main things it accomplishes, is teaching us humility. There is a lot of humility in waiting. Waiting requires a deep acknowledgement that I am not in control, but am ultimately powerless and dependent upon God. Therefore, Advent, the season of waiting, is the perfect opportunity to embrace this humility, and to exercise it.
Maybe crying out for mercy is a great place to start.