Sunrise behind trees

Remember. Hope. Wait.

How awful would it be to have to live the same day over and over again? I mean, I can only count on my hand the days that were so good I would have wanted to experience them over and over. The majority of the time, while I’m thankful for the day, I’m also very thankful that it’s done. Every morning is a new day. And I’m thankful for that.

Sunrise behind trees

Sunrise behind trees - Haven, KS

Today’s verse is Lamentations 3:23.

Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning.

I had intended to stop there. Because how can you top that? God is so faithful and so awesome and so kind to us that even if we screw up royally, He still forgives us and still gives us another chance the next day to get it right. He’s the God of second chances and third chances and fourth chances.

Mercy is withholding punishment that a guilty person deserves. And God gives us new mercy with every sunrise. Not old mercy. Not mercy that drags up the past and shoves it in our faces but new mercy that doesn’t even remember the sins of yesterday.

How can anything be better than that? Well, I kept reading. And then I read the whole passage in context, and I felt the need to share because this really touched me today. This is Lamentations 3:19-27 in The Message:

It’s a Good Thing to Hope for Help from God

 19-21I’ll never forget the trouble, the utter lostness,
   the taste of ashes, the poison I’ve swallowed.
I remember it all—oh, how well I remember—
   the feeling of hitting the bottom.
But there’s one other thing I remember,
   and remembering, I keep a grip on hope:

 22-24God’s loyal love couldn’t have run out,
   his merciful love couldn’t have dried up.
They’re created new every morning.
   How great your faithfulness!
I’m sticking with God (I say it over and over).
   He’s all I’ve got left.

 25-27God proves to be good to the man who passionately waits,
   to the woman who diligently seeks.
It’s a good thing to quietly hope,
   quietly hope for help from God.
It’s a good thing when you’re young
   to stick it out through the hard times.

We all struggle. Everyone. It doesn’t matter who we are or where we come from or how rich we are or how poor we are or if we’re gainfully employed or not. Everyone has trouble. Everyone hits the bottom. Everyone despairs. And that despair can be hard to forget.

But there’s one thing we need to remember: God’s mercy is new every morning.

It doesn’t matter if you’ve hit rock bottom and feel like you can’t stand up anymore, God’s mercy is new with the sun. His love never runs out. And it’s a good thing to wait for Him because He is good to those who wait with passion and seek with diligence.

And if we can remember that, we can have hope. Not the loud, obnoxious hope that people brag about when they’re trying to show others how spiritual they are. But quiet, confident hope that God will come to your rescue even in the darkest of times.

That kind of hope makes all the difference in the world.

We’re nearing the end of January 2012. February is just over the horizon, and I know people who are struggling to keep their chins up, whether for economic reasons or health reasons or emotional reasons. Just remember it’s a good thing to quietly hope for help from God. It’s good because it gives God the chance to show you He knows what He’s doing.