New Hope Every Morning

I was waiting for Driver to finish his now almost nightly 1:30 am trip to the backyard and thinking, “This has to be part of a dog’s aging process,” when it hit me–this was not only his schedule. More times than I care to admit, I also wake up around 1:30 am to address a certain need and wonder to myself, “Well, should I get up or wait for Driver to sound his backyard alarm so I can take care of two tasks at one time.” He is not the only one who is aging.

If my nightly pilgrimages were not enough proof of my passage through time, we attended a wedding for one of my nephews a while ago and I took note that Diane and I were definitely part of the older crowd who watches the “younger ones” gyrate wildly. Well, we would have been if we hadn’t left the reception to get enough sleep to survive our church picnic the next day.

I know, everyone gets older. But, as I find myself occasionally struggling to remember the names of clients at work, getting beaten in Words With Friends by my fourteen- year-old granddaughter, and saying things like, “You go ahead, I am just going to sit a minute,” I wonder what is ahead. I am really not afraid, maybe just wondering where the energy has gone.

As usual God stepped in and gave a glimmer of hope to keep me going. It did not come through someone’s wise insight or from the music to which I love to listen. Rather, as always with God, it came through his Word as I sat the other morning starting yet another day.

I was directed to a passage in Lamentations chapter 3 which reads 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. Now, I believe and trust every word in the Bible, but I admit I needed to take that verse to God and respectfully ask, “Where is your compassion God? Are you really as faithful as you say?”

And, like so many hundreds of times before when my view of life gave me tunnel vision, my eyes were opened. I remembered that in the last month Diane and I celebrated our 45th anniversary. In all honesty, she has stuck with me through thin and thin. She never stops praying and always is willing to hear me out. As for me, there are many times when in those years I fell far short of showing the love I have for her. But God also reminded me of how we got through.

Next I picked up a calendar and saw all the birthdays of kids, grand kids, sons in law and siblings. I know and have been told by others that our children and grandchildren are such a blessing. I was a little ashamed that I did not remember those blessings in my life.

And just a little over a week ago, my oldest son was installed as the pastor in another church. God placed him there as he saw there was a need that at this time, my son could fill. Even more, my son-in-law is also a pastor and every week I am able to hear podcasts of his messages. What a blessings these two are in our world where millions need to know about their Savior Jesus!

I know Diane has worked hard at shoring up our marriage and we have the examples of both our parents’ marriages. But those were not the reasons we reached 45 years.

As loving, thoughtful, and kind as my family members are, that is not what makes them a blessing to me and others.

I doubt there are more welcoming pastors in our church body than my son and son-in-law. They both preach pretty well too. But those gifts won’t turn the people in their churches to the Savior.

The source of those blessings are  these words from Lamentations–Because of the Lord’s great love. That love powered our marriage for 45 years. That love grew the faith in my family members that enables them to be blessings. And that love blesses the Word in my son and son-in-law’s messages and turns people to know their Savior.

That love, though, has a greater purpose. That love compelled God to send Jesus to die on the cross and pay for the sins of the whole world. Through faith in Jesus’ saving work, me, my family and all other people are set right with God and eternal life is ours’.

I am so thankful that God used his Word to remind me that his blessings are new every day. There will be other days when I let this world cause doubt about the future. Maybe I need to keep that Lamentations passage first in my morning devotion. Through God’s love there is always hope–no matter how many times I find myself and Driver standing at the back door at 1:30 in the morning.

Thanks for stopping. Hope you can come back again sometime. I will wait you!

If you can, get to the last verse in this song. Every time I hear the words “then came the morning” sung, I catch my breath in response to the love of my Savior.