A Birthday and Three Gifts of God’s Faithfulness

by | Sep 21, 2015 | 12 comments

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.

 

 

 

12 Comments

  1. Karen

    Happy Birthday Kelly! This is one of my favorite passages. Thanks for reminding us that God is faithful in spite of our unfaithfulness. Just when I feel like I’ve used up all the grace & mercy with my name on it, I wake up to find that new batch!

    • Kelly Minter

      Totally agree, Karen. Sometimes it’s even hard to believe, which is why I’m glad Jeremiah testified a few thousand years ago to this faithfulness and that it’s still new even today.

  2. Deanne Alsup

    Kelly, I wish you a most blessed birthday! Thank you for the encouraging reminder of God’s faithfulness and His tender mercies that are new every morning!

    • Kelly Minter

      You’re so welcome. Happy for the reflection myself. Blessings Deanne.

  3. Judy

    Thank you for great encouragement on your birthday. It’s your celebration and we all get the gift of your faith sharing and ministry. As I read your blog I hummed Happy Birthday to you ???????? and then broke out into Great is Thy Faithfulness. Perfect beginning of This glorious day.

    • Kelly Minter

      Hah. I’d never have thought about the Happy Birthday-Great Is Thy Faithfulness medley, but I’m catching the vision. Thanks Judy.

  4. Deb Rock

    Thank you, Kelly, for your beautiful devotion. I love this scripture and the old, favorite hymn that comes to mind! As your devotion says its so important for us to be thankful for all that God has done for us and continues to do each day! Thank you your ministry, Kelly. Have a wonderful birthday!!????????

    • Kelly Minter

      Thank you so much Deb!

  5. Missy Neushwander Reinke

    Happy Birthday! Last week was my birthday too! It’s amazing to reflect on how often God gives us so much better then we can ever dream up. I always think I know best, but He really is the best author. His stories are bunches better then mine!

    • Kelly Minter

      I love that line: His stories are bunches better than mine 🙂 Agreed.

  6. Linda N

    Happy Birthday, Kelly! Although it’s your birthday, this post is like a birthday present to me. Thank you for reminding me of what a valuable gift God’s grace is. It is not something I ever want to take for granted.

  7. Beth Mackey

    Kelly, happy belated birthday! What a beautiful testimony of God’s love and blessing you are to so many. Keep shining brightly for the Savior!

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