“The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases: His mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness.”~ Lamentations 3:22-23 (ESV)
Most every morning, after the boys board their school bus, Neil and I take our seats on the couch to pray over the day. Praying helps set the tone and outlook for upcoming events, whether planned or spontaneous. And almost every morning, I find my thoughts prematurely wandering through all the daily possibilities. This is often counterproductive for the start of a new day. In fact, I often ruin it with anxiety as though better planning or trying to control every situation will eliminate all happenstance possibilities. By the time Neil and I are comfy on the couch, I’m either already stressing over a deadline, problem solving circumstances that may not take place, or planning how I can manipulate everything to “make it work,” so to speak. And that’s just silly.
How on earth does living like this reflect God’s faithfulness?!
Answer: it doesn’t.
Since our relocation to Virginia two and half years ago, sometimes I find myself reaching for something familiar in my past to feel more stabilized in the present. For example, old habits and memories of hanging out with friends turn to longing for yesterday. Simple things like sitting in the serenity of our lake view home, gazing across the lake to the large homes on the other side used to bring feelings of peace and gratitude. Feeding the local deer peanut butter toast… Ahhh, the memories of the beautiful wildlife that surrounded us…! These are good memories, but if I had a choice to go back, I wouldn’t —not for the world!
Everything here is different. And I do mean everything. However, although some areas are more challenging (partly due to COVID), everything is better.
Here. In the present. It’s just different.
It’s interesting how although the present may be far better than the past, I somehow convince myself I need something familiar to “stabilize” my well being. It’s mind-boggling how I tend to reach for the “familiar” in my past in order to find my footing in my current daily living, even though my present life is so much better than what was.
As I was getting my hair cut the other day, I thought about this concept and confessed, “Lord, I won’t reach for comfort in old familiar habits or memories from my past. You’ve brought my family here, and I don’t want to miss what You’ve planned because I’m so consumed with feeling comfortable in new circumstances.”
Then I heard quiet words spoken gently to my mind. “There is only one familiar thing you may continue to reach for.”
Then a pause just long enough for me to wonder, What is it?
The answer came instantly: “Me.”
Just as rapidly as His answer was whispered to my soul, memories of every move, new place, every new circumstance that brought discomfort and sometimes pain, He showed me the one thing I always reached for. It was the only thing that never failed to comfort and stabilize my thoughts, emotions, and footing in the newness of living. My one constant was always Him.
Of course! Why would I reach for anything else?!
Recalibrating. It’s uncomfortable because it’s a shift —often in thinking, perspective, and for certain, in daily living. But it also feels good to be getting back on track! His mercies are new every morning! His mercies are found in the details of the day. In fact, they often are the details of the day. I don’t want to go so fast that I miss the details. This is the gold that makes one wealthy and wise. His mercies. “The Hebrew word for ‘new’ as used here, is ‘chadash‘ meaning fresh, new thing, to rebuild.” (Journalstandard.com, October 25, 2012). “Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall you not know it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert” (Isaiah 43:19)
“Lord, thank You that Your mercies are new every morning.”
Yes, this is how I now begin my daily morning prayer with Neil —and begin each day with God.