The next morning...same thing. More cold, grey, rain, fog. We'd look out over the valley on our porch and saw...absolutely nothing. I'd have never believed even a tree, blade of grass, or any other living thing existed out there in that vast white deadness. And it lasted all. day. long. And into the evening.
Isn't that like life sometimes? We feel alone, discouraged, fearful. Slogging through some hard or exhausting time. Anxious and uncertain about what's around the bend. Thinking we're surely the only one.
But faith says we're never ever alone. Faith says God's in control. Faith says all of God's promises are "Yes!" in Jesus. Faith says we walk by faith in our never-changing omnipotent God rather than worrying and wobbling along based on our ever-vacillating unreliable feelings.
And faith says everyday--every single day--is a gift to be opened and enjoyed, not a burden to be endured or wished away. Even the hardest of days have God's fingerprints all over them. As such, they are His never-to-be-repeated gift of 1,440 minutes for us to love Him and love people.
Sure enough, Sunday dawned spectacular--a gigantic painting only God could craft. The sun melted the darkness with an astounding show of color and clouds. It had all been there all along--all the trees, all the valley below, all the birds and butterflies and mountain ranges. Just because we couldn't see it, didn't matter one iota. The rain and fog temporarily clouded our vision, but not the reality of what was still there. It was always there. A brand new, sparkling day. But isn't everyday like that?
Thank You Lord for every gift of a new day. Thank You that You promise that "The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; His mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness." (Lam.3:22-23) Thank You that those very words were written by the "weeping prophet," Jeremiah in a time of great sorrow and distress for the people of Israel. Despite the fog of sadness and tragedy, Jeremiah knew God was still there. Jeremiah trusted that God still loved His people. And he still believed in God's forever faithfulness and endless mercies.
A very dear friend of mine just lost her godly, wonderful Mama. And right now, I'm sure the fog of sorrow and the rain of missing her feel overwhelming, even oppressive at times. But I also know that the Lord Almighty is there, working and moving and redeeming and reviving in the midst of it all. We might see the clouds, fog and rain on this side, but her Mama, oh her Mama on the other side, sees nothing but glory, light, wonder, radiance, joy, love, laughter...and Jesus.
Apparently her Mama's favorite verse, and one she recited every morning, is Psalm 118:24: "This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it." I had to smile when I heard it, because it's always been one of my favorites as well, and it's the first thing I say out loud every morning. That along with Ps.143:8 "Let me hear in the morning of Your steadfast love, for in You I trust. Make me know the way I should go, for to You I lift up my soul." I speak them both out loud each morning to Mr. Bingley (since he's the only one up) so my heart can be reminded that this new day is a gift from God.
And it's His gift to you too. Might these verses counsel our hearts that the Lord wants us to rejoice in this day. That His love for us is steadfast--no matter what's going on or how we might feel. And that He will guide and direct us this day--for these glittering, never-to-be-repeated 24 hours of time.
As long as He gives us breath in our lungs, might we rejoice in Him, expend ourselves in love, and live this day to His glory. Let's do it this day...until He takes us Home. And then, oh my then, well why don't we let John Donne tell us--
"I shall rise from the dead...I shall see the Son of God, the Sun of Glory, and shine myself as that sun shines. I shall be united to the Ancient of Days, to God Himself, who had no morning, never began...No man ever saw God and lived. And yet, I shall not live till I see God; and when I have seen Him, I shall never die."
Until that glorious day when we see Him face to face, this is the day the Lord has made. Because He made it, because He's given it to us, we will rejoice and be glad in it.
Until that wondrous day of our Homegoing, this day, this very day, we will obey, forgive, love, give, trust, worship, and rejoice...all by His grace, all for His glory.
To God--to the Resurrected Sun of Glory, our Redeemer, the Ancient of Days, and our King of Kings--be all the glory.