Because of the Lord’s great love, his faithfulness is great and his compassion never ends.
There is an old hymn, “The Steadfast Love of the Lord” with a chorus that repeats, God’s mercies never come to an end, “they are new every morning.” There are other renditions such as this beautiful version by Audrey Assad. I thought of that song as I read an article where a mother described walking with her small child, having to stop every couple steps for the child to exclaim in wonder at things that she would usually not even notice -- grass, weeds, flowers, the sidewalk, bumps on the buildings, signs, and on and on and on. She ended the article with the resolution to slow down and model her faith after that child -- noticing and being grateful to God for all the many blessings she usually takes for granted.
I thought of that chorus again as my husband and I took our two-year-old granddaughter to the neighborhood donut store, a Saturday morning tradition that our grandchildren love. (Pink frosting with sprinkles, what’s not to love?!) It’s a short walk and you would not call it a particularly beautiful one. Crossing a street in front of our suburban house, crossing the big intersection between us and the strip mall, walking down the sidewalk and parking lot to the donut establishment. There are a few patches of grass, some bushes and trees, no spectacular landscapes or anything even close to breathtaking. But what fun it was for our granddaughter. “Big puddle!” “Doggy!” “Cars - vroom!” and most fun of all, “Shadows!!” Waggling her fingers and wiggling her body to see the actions mirrored in her shadow. Looking at Papa’s big shadow with their hands holding. Seeing the shadows flat on the sidewalk, then upright on the fence. When we arrived home she excitedly yelled, “Shadow!!” to the mailman and her daddy who happened to be outside.
I decided to look up the hymn and the verses it came from. Did you know those verses are in the book of Lamentations? I happen to have read quite a bit about lament this week, too. I did not expect to see these happy verses about blessings being “new every morning, new every morning” in a book of lament! But there they are, amidst a long litany of grievances -- affliction, walking in the darkness, old and broken bones, left without hope, being a laughingstock, broken teeth, trampled in the dust, and much more. Oh my goodness, this writer is in bad shape. Yet…”this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: 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…”
Wow. Even in our suffering, sadness, disappointment, all our causes for lament, we can remember God’s love never fails, his faithfulness is great, and his mercies are new every morning. Because of the Lord’s great love.
I remember my affliction and my wandering,
the bitterness and the gall.
I well remember them,
and my soul is downcast within me.
Yet this I call to mind
and therefore I have hope:
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.
I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion;
therefore I will wait for him.”
What can I pray about for you?
love and blessings,
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