Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Your Mercies are New Every Morning

It is New Year's Day—a day of new beginnings, fresh resolutions, starting over. We survived another crazy year (including the so-called Mayan Apocalypse) and we're ready to dig into 2013. Or at the very least, we try to convince ourselves that we are ready.

I, for one, do not feel ready. Not at all. When I tried to come up with a list of New Year's Resolutions, I didn't know where to begin. There is so much that I feel I need to do that I no longer know what to prioritize. I no longer know what's best for my own health or for others. I just live day to day now, trying to survive, trying to do what little I can.

Those few of you who read my little blog may wonder what's become of me in the long months since I last posted regularly. The simple answer is that this blog is about love, and for the past year or so I have had very little to say about love because I often feel as though I am failing at it. I strive to follow where God leads, but my efforts rarely result in success. I struggle in my marriage. I flounder with my family. I wrestle with depression. I seek to serve others only in the quiet gaps when my mind stops screaming at me that I need to take care of myself. I am categorically unable to shut out my own fears and pain and anger except when I am caring for my daughter, who is such a beacon of sunshine that no sadness can stand before her for long. Even when she's having a fussy day I feel peaceful when I am with her, but I still feel tired. Bone-achingly, mind-numbingly tired.

What then can I say about love? I, who could not even live by my own advice when times got tough? I, who prayed and prayed and prayed but could not find comfort or direction? I, whose wisdom has failed, whose church attendance has plummeted, whose heart is heavy? I can say only this: God's mercies are new every morning. I fail again and again, but I am not lost because God forgives. I get hurt day after day, but God heals me so that my pain is not too much to bear. I live to struggle on, to fight another day, to seek love and to give it. I am weary, but I do not fall.

"I am pressed but not crushed, persecuted not abandoned, struck down but not destroyed. I am blessed beyond the curse, for His promise will endure. His joy's gonna be my strength. Though sorrow may last for the night, His joy comes with the morning." —from "Trading my Sorrows" by Darrell Evans (a paraphrase of 2 Corinthians 4:8–9)

So then I hope that this New Year's Day reminds all of you about God's unfailing mercy. Today really can be a new day for you, and tomorrow and the next day, too. We do not have to carry the full burdens of our failures and scars with us from one day to the next, because God will gladly ease them for us. No matter how many times we fall or fail, His mercies will still be new every morning.
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