Relationships are messy and rarely escape being marked by disappointment. Friendships are fragile. It is hard to get over being hurt. What we intend is not always what we do. Failure can become an anthem of our life. We are all of us marked by the life we live each and every day. And the hard days, those that take your breath away, the ones that are burned in your memory playing over and over like a sad looped CD have forever changed you.
These exceptionally hard days, those that have altered our course have a way of making us into something great or turning us into something terrifyingly awful. And these very hard times are our own personal horror stories that have become our war stories. These hard times if we allow them will turn our souls to iron revealing strength in us we never could have imagined. Hard times give us a story to tell and give hope to those who hear, but they are not where we achieve true grit. Our battles or even our victory through those battles do not create our character. No that happened long before or in the many days following, but not from merely surviving.
For quite a while I have grappled with this notion that it is not the dark time, the horror story we survive that allowed us to stand strong and firm, but something far more innocuous something learned and practiced over and over and over again. We are all of us marked by life. We have all known failure horrible, terrible, rip-your-heart-out failure. What is it that allows some of us to rise often mightier than when we fell? How can we learn to not just stand again, but soar?
Fittingly, the verses the Lord continues to bring to mind as I ponder these questions are from Lamentations:
“The Lord’s lovingkindnesses indeed never cease, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is Thy faithfulness. The Lord is my portion, says my soul, therefore I have hope in Him.”
I cannot help but think that if it were not for His mercies made new every day, if not for His amazing grace this day would be our last. The Lord did not just fling our world into motion and allow it to run a course. Oh no! He is actively involved, every day. Every day He shows Himself to us, new. What joy, what unabated joy comes from knowing this truth, this beautiful promise. It is as if the Lord whispers in our ear each morning,
“Do it again!”
Each day is a gift, no really a gift (I’ll forgive your eye roll at my apparent cliché). Each day is this wonderful opportunity for us to know hope and possess the possibilities that lies therein. A day is our chance to right the previous day’s failures. A day is our precious gift offering us the chance to perfect ourselves, to fulfill our mission or it is ours to waste.
So child of God what have you done with your day? When you walked through your door did you take a deep sighing breath and think, “I made it. And thank God it is over.” Or did you smile as you opened the door knowing that you had lived this day to its fullest. There are plenty of joy snatchers out there that will lay in wait for you and even more obstacles that will try to thwart your every move, but if God is our portion we have a joy that is unsnatchable. If our hope is in the Lord there are no real obstacles only those masquerading as such.
If every day I can awake with a prayer on my lips as I encounter Holy God I will develop true grit. I will be seasoned by Him and grounded in truth. This is the goal. This is our aim. Today as the Lord has made His mercy new so we will walk in the newness of the day and live, truly live. Today is full of wonderful opportunities don’t miss out on one of them, don’t waste another gift.