A simple lesson this weekend opened my eyes. I was a guest at my sister’s house on Friday night, and the next morning I overslept.
Sleeping late on Saturday might sound like a fine thing, but it’s not a good plan if you have a meeting first thing in the morning. I was running late from the moment I opened my eyes.
Another big disappointment was that I missed dawn. Morning light is one of my favorite things; and as I snuggled in the night before, I realized that I had never slept at this house and had no idea what the first touch of morning looked like in their end of the valley. ‘Good,’ I thought. ‘I’ll get to see how a new day comes here.’
I’ve never spent much time analyzing why I enjoy morning light … maybe because it means a fresh start. Maybe because it symbolizes hope. Maybe because I’m rested and renewed and don’t have too much clutter in my head at that time of the day, so it is easier for me to see and appreciate the beauty.
But I overslept and completely missed the first rays of light.
As I was racing around, getting ready for the meeting, I thought about missing the dawn; and I wondered, Why not look for God’s new kindnesses every day with such eagerness?
The faithful love of the LORD never ends!
His mercies never cease.
Great is his faithfulness;
His mercies begin afresh each morning.
Just as surely as the sun comes up every morning, so God’s faithful love works for the good of His children. In every event of the day, He is present. The NIV says that his compassions never fail.
This may be a familiar Scripture to you. But do you realize it comes after a long description of the awful time Jeremiah (the writer) is experiencing? Twenty verses begin this chapter, all describing this awful time, bitter beyond words. He will never forget the suffering, the darkness, the sorrow of this period of his life.
And yet he says, I still dare to hope when I remember… He remembers that God’s kindness and compassion come afresh every morning and
The LORD is good to those who depend on him,
to those who search for him.
In the middle of darkness and suffering, that’s hope!
Psalm 107 is another of my favorites. The writer talks about wandering, lost, suffering, rebellious people who are saved when they cry out to God. Four hopeless situations are described, and in every case, the LORD rescues those souls who have been so helpless. Each story ends with
Let them praise the LORD for his great love
and for the wonderful things he has done for them.
Read chapter 107 sometime, and see if one of the rescue stories is also your story.
For the children of God, the wonderful stories happen every day. Every morning, as surely as the sun rises and marches across the sky, God is working in your life and mine, in ways both small and gigantic, in quiet touches and spectacular power. I want to watch eagerly for those wonderful things, to recognize His care, to thank Him for what He is doing.
Psalm 107 ends with
Those who are wise will take all this to heart;
they will see in our history the faithful love of the LORD.
If you remember, this is one of the cases God had against Judah: “They don’t pay attention to what I’m doing. They forget about who cares for them.”
I do not want to forget. I want to pay attention.
Spirit, wake me up! I do not want to be sleeping and miss all the wonderful things God does today.
Scripture: Lamentations 3:21-23, 25; from Psalm 107. (All NLT)
Photograph: Ethel Miller