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A Birthday and Three Gifts of God’s Faithfulness

by | Sep 21, 2015

Morning Meditation, September 21, 2015

 “Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” Lamentations 3:22-23

I turn a year older this week. What is it about birthdays, especially the adulthood ones that make you reflect on God’s faithfulness? Cherish it, actually. Realize you wouldn’t be here without it. Last night I sat on a friend’s porch over dinner with two of my closest, longest-time friends. We were working on putting the final pieces together for Justice and Mercy International’s Benefit Gala (an organization I partner with in the Amazon), and it suddenly hit me—that we’re the adults in the room. We plan stuff. People occasionally want our opinion. I don’t know exactly how or when I got old enough for this to happen.

The marker of another year causes me to look back on the path from whence I’ve come, aware that all my choices for obedience don’t add up to having gotten me to where God has brought me. In other words, grace fueled any obedience I can claim and made up for everything else. All of us have glimpsed around the room of our lives—be it a job we never dreamed would be ours, a child so unique we couldn’t have imagined him or her up, the ministry calling so beyond us—and realized we just couldn’t haven woven all this together, not to mention redeeming the bad stuff for good. When it comes down to it, there’s really just one word to describe God’s hand on our lives: Faithfulness.

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The prophet Jeremiah points to three facets of God’s faithfulness:

We Are Not Consumed

We have not been snuffed out by our guilt and shame and selfishness. I admit the idea of, awesome, I haven’t been consumed today is not the first grace I think of when I consider God’s love. Still, Jeremiah’s words are both sobering and relieving. My sin could have taken me out a few different times—or as my friend likes to say in Old Testament terms, I could have gotten smote. So just the reality that I am writing these words, and you dear sister are reading them, says we do this because we have not been consumed. Because we are alive. Because of His great love for us.

His Compassions Never Fail

There’s just no telling who or where I’d be right now, or what my community would look like, if the Lord’s compassions were to have failed me at any point. They would have had only fail for a moment, at the wrong time, for things to look so very different. You may feel the same. I think in my younger years I presumed upon the Lord’s compassions, as if they were there for me like oxygen—paradoxically too plentiful to be seen as a treasure. But now I realize God’s never failing compassions are why I have anything at all. As I become more aware of the fragility of life, I am keener to the reality of His mercies. The fact that Almighty God bows His head toward us with compassions is deeply meaningful, but the fact that these compassions never fail is what keeps us alive.

His Mercies Are New Every Morning

It’s the daily dose of His morning mercies piled up from thousands of daily servings that have, one by one, carried me to today. Carried us all here. If the Lord had dolled out His mercies in one lump sum I may have used them all up, clean gone. If there were a limit to His tenderness, I may have outrun it. But every morning brings a fresh batch out of the oven. They are new. They are here today. They will rise on the wings of the dawn tomorrow.

So this week I will turn another year older. I’m looking forward to being with family and friends and perhaps strawberry cake. And I will breathe deeply these surroundings because I have not been consumed, because God’s compassions are present and they do not fail, and because His mercies will be new that morning, and every morning for as many days as God gives me.

Great is His faithfulness.

 

 

 

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