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His Mercy Is New

A couple of weeks ago, I was blessed to be able to take a trip to Oak Island, North Carolina. On the last full day at the beach, Sam, Lori, and I got up early to see the sunrise. It was a beautiful morning. We took pictures of the pink and gold sky that stained the waves which played at our feet. After looking for the early morning shells left by the high-tide of the night before, we sat on the beach and talked for a while. We mused on the beauty of the sunrise and how it beckons in each new morning. A day “with no mistakes in it yet...[1]” (as the character Anne of Green Gables is known to have said). But as we sat there on our beach chairs and watched the waves, another even more important truth from Lamentations 3:22-23 crept into my mind:

“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.”

It was a relief to me, that promise and little possessive pronoun: His mercies are new every morning. How beautiful. When we make mistakes and sin, His mercies are new every morning; great is his faithfulness. Every morning I am not dependent on the mercies and compassion left over from the night before. There is no point where His mercy and compassion will ever run out. Every morning, with every sunrise, with every moment of waking - blinking in the wonder with the sunlight - there is more mercy. There is more compassion. I have fallen, I have sinned, I have made mistakes. But, like the tide ebbs and flows swallowing up the beach to leave it whole and new again, His new mercy makes me new, every new and glorious morning. Why? Because (and here is the possessive pronoun) great is His faithfulness. Did you catch that? It is not, “great is my faithfulness” for that is spotty, weak, and inconsistent. Instead, it is “Great is God’s faithfulness.” That means that even when I am unfaithful, He is still faithful. Even when I am pathetic, He is still faithful. Even when I am weak and exhausted, He is still faithful. Even when my heart is nasty and my intentions self-centered, He is still faithful.

That doesn’t mean that I can abuse His faithfulness, however. Just because the seashore will continue with or without me, doesn’t mean that I can throw trash on the ground or dump waste in the water. The beach will eventually return to its beauty, but that doesn’t mean that I can abuse it.

“Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me...” (John 14:21)

Sam reminded me of this verse as we all sat there on the rosy beach in the new sunrise; because I love my Heavenly Father I will treasure His faithfulness. Because I love Him, I will obey Him. Because I treasure His presence I will follow what He has called me to do. Not because I am afraid that I will lose it - for great is His faithfulness - But because I am a willing servant to His great Mercy.

[1] Canadian Broadcasting Corporation . (1985). Anne of Green Gables [VHS]. Canada.

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