As I looked at the Resting at the River’s Edge reading schedule this morning, I was stuck by the fact that we have exactly one week of reading left for 2012. Yes, I know it’s the Saturday before Christmas, and yes, I know that there is one week between Christmas and New Year’s. Still, sometimes things bring truths home to us more starkly than others. In this case, it was looking at the RARE schedule that screamed “only one week left in 2012!”

And as I looked at the calendar, I also realized that it is December 22 – and the world didn’t end yesterday as some predicted! (No, I was not expecting that it would.)

So today, I am impressed that we have the opportunity to start anew. Even here in the last week of 2012, one week before the beginning of a brand new year and right in the final rush of Christmas preparations. We have the opportunity to start anew. Just like we have every day – we can start anew with our whole future in front of us.

God’s promise is that His mercies are new every morning.

22The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases, his mercies never come to an end; 23they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.
Lamentations 3:22-23 (NRSV)

I can’t help but note that this is from the book of Lamentations – a book written by the prophet Jeremiah in which he weeps and mourns over the fate of Judah. The word lament means “having remorse for what could have been but wasn’t realized.” In the midst of this mourning, Jeremiah turns to the promises of God and makes the strong statement that His mercies are new every morning.

Some mornings I need that new mercy more than others! Whether I feel like I need His mercy or not, however, His mercy is there – every morning. And it’s there every morning because I do need it every morning. Even those mornings when I wake up feeling on top of the world.

I’ve come to understand and accept that my feelings are quite fickle and fragile. The sense of being full of life and energy that I sometimes wake up with can quickly deteriorate with a single phone call or misstep or even the stray thought that wanders into my mind. God’s mercies are there for me at those times.

This morning I was journaling about a specific challenging situation in my life. Here’s a sanitized version (to protect the innocent) of what I wrote:

This situation makes me so sad…but perhaps for the first time, just now – this very minute – I felt a hint of excitement for something different in the future. What could it be? Lord, speak, for Your servant listens.

As I listened, it was only moments before satan whispered into my ear discouragement and condemnation because of my role in the situation. If I hadn’t recognized it as the voice of satan and not God, the discouragement and condemnation could have been devastating.

My emotions are fickle and fragile! Even when I am steadfastly pursuing God’s purposes, satan can slip in that one sentence that brings discouragement. It’s at those times that it’s important that I speak Truth to myself. Truth with a capital “T” – Truth that comes from God’s Word.

The world didn’t end yesterday as some predicted. They were predicting the end of the world based on something other than God’s Truth. Someone asked my husband if he thought Jesus would come on December 21, the day many thought the world would end. His response was that December 21, 2012 was pretty much the one day that he could guarantee that Jesus wouldn’t come. Because Scripture – Truth – is clear that no man knows the day or the hour of His return (Matthew 24:36). Those who don’t know that truth were preaching deception.

Truth is that I am a child of God and that He has good things for my future. Truth is that discouragement is from the enemy. Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you disquieted within me?” wrote King David. “Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my help and my God.” Psalm 42:11 (NRSV)

On those mornings when I wake up tired and defeated feeling, God can speak a single word and everything is changed. Because His mercy is new every morning. It always has been true and it will continue to be true.

As you prepare for this last week of 2012, let me again encourage you to take some time away with God. Check out this this blog from a few weeks ago for some ideas about how to spend your time. Take some time to apprehend those mercies that He has for you today. In the hustle and bustle of Christmas, in the challenges of attending yet another gathering, in the face of loneliness or defeat, we need them more than ever.

Comments are closed.

© copyright 2009-2013, Data Designs Publishing and Sandra J. Hovatter