Tuesday, March 2, 2010

The New Dawn

We all  have bad days. Sometimes when everything has gone wrong, we feel lucky just to make it to the end of the day. We're ready for the day to be over so that we can start fresh tomorrow with new hopes for better things. Occasionally, we even have bad weeks (or even bad months or years). During those trying times, we look for ways to free ourselves from the problems that tie us down so that we can start fresh. We have sayings to encourage ourselves like, "Tomorrow is another day," or "The night is always darkest just before the dawn." We visualize the new day coming to bring us renewed hope.

The prophet Jeremiah was in the midst of a dark and difficult season in his life when he wrote the book of Lamentations. Things were not going at all well for him personally or for his society in general. In the midst of his woe, Jeremiah wrote, "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." (Lamentations 3:21–23) In the midst of his suffering, Jeremiah was looking for the new dawn because he trusted in God's mercy. He knew that God makes everything new, so it was only a matter time before he would be given a fresh start. God could free Jeremiah and all the people from the sins and suffering that oppressed them.

God's mercies are new every morning. That means that when I go to sleep feeling sad, angry, frustrated, or exhausted, I have a chance to be restored so that I can greet the new day full of hope, joy, and positive energy. The sun comes up every morning to remind us that God is constantly reviving our tired spirits and sending down blessings to help us persevere. No matter how bad things get for us, we can look for the new dawn and know that someday God will give us the chance to start anew.

Sometimes going to sleep and waking up the next day doesn't really make a discernible difference in the state of my life. Problems that existed when I went to sleep haven't necessarily evaporated overnight. Yet, the perception of the new day can make all the difference in the way I handle challenges. Last night I was weary and worn down, feeling unable to do anything about my problems. This morning, however, I feel fresh and energized and ready to make a dent in the pile of work ahead of me. The new dawn has given me a chance to pick up where I left off but with a renewed sense of hope and purpose. Yesterday I had a bad time and my problems wore me down, but today is a new day. Those problems may still be here, but I might come out on top today. God has given me another chance to get things done, and that's a wonderful thing.

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