unfailing love

I am a very visual person.  A myriad of things catch my eye – colors, textures, details, designs.  The range of those can vary so dramatically that it makes choosing any specific outfit to wear or the latest décor item for my home an interesting adventure!

I am also a “wordie!”  Some people are “foodies.”  I am a “wordie.”  A myriad of phrases, thoughts, and even single words catch my attention too.  I like things that make me stop and think, make me smile, make me laugh at myself for being too serious, make all the bells and whistles go off in my head with a joyous, “yes! that is the PERFECT word for that!!!”

Not too long ago, this little graphic caught my eye.  I can’t even tell you where I found it (to the anonymous creator of this image – due credit and many thanks!!).  It wasn’t long before my mouse was hovering over it, clicking “save as” to tuck it away in my private stash of favorite images!

unfailing-love

The colors are fresh and bright, the sun shining in the corner casts a warm, energetic glow, and the tree leaves and fern greens remind me of my favorite lazy walks through nature breathing in fresh air.  To top it all off, the “wordie” in me just breaks into a smile to read those words from God’s love letter to me, His Word, the Bible: “The Lord’s unfailing love and mercy still continue; fresh as the morning, as sure as the sunrise.”  [Lamentations 3:22-23]

As sure as the sunrise… Our Creator God called the sun to rise on the very first day.  He calls the sun to rise every single day, without fail!  The very fact that I wake to see a new day reminds me of His faithfulness, of the gift of light and warmth and the fresh burst of renewed energy.

His unfailing love & mercy still continue… He cannot fail.  He will not fail.  His storehouses never run dry and He will always shower His children with love and mercy!  In the beginning, Our Creator God fashioned this beautiful, intricate, natural world for us to live in and enjoy.  He created each one of us.  He made me!  He knows what makes me tick!  He knows I am that visual, “wordie” person.  He knows what will get my attention, what will make me smile.  And He loves to amaze me!  He continually sends little gifts in my direction.  Why?  Because He loves me – and He wants me to know Him as intimately as He knows me!

I can be kind of dense.  As “into details” as I am, I may not see some of the gifts my heavenly Father sends to me.  I may be too busy to notice and not see them at all – or worse, I may actually see them, but neglect to linger long enough to really appreciate them and to thank the One who sent them!  That is when His mercy is such a gift in itself!  His love is unconditional.  It is not affected by me or my response to Him at all.  In His love and because of His mercy, He pursues me anyway, gently calling me to Himself, my Creator God.  Why?  Because He loves me – and He wants me to know Him as intimately as He knows me!

I find it interesting that this verse is in Lamentations – a lament!  It was written during a time in Israel’s history when there was a lot to be truly discouraged about, to lament!  Jerusalem was in ruins.  The world was a mess.  Fear abounded and the joy of celebration was a distant memory.  But through God’s Spirit, the prophet penned these words about unfailing love and mercy, fresh as the morning, as sure as the sunrise!  Jeremiah’s hope was not in anyone or anything around him.  His hope was in the LORD.  He woke every morning expectantly, watching for how the Lord would shower His love and mercy upon him that day.

We can experience that same hope!  Our Creator God who loves us and wants us to know Him sends us gifts every day to catch our attention, to bless us, and to meet our needs.  He sent the greatest gift, His own dear Son, to be our Savior.  “If He did not spare His only Son, won’t He also freely gives us everything we need?”  [Romans 8:32]   So His gifts keep coming.  Some are as quiet as a whisper, an understanding glance, a soft touch on a shoulder.  Some are as loud as a miracle happening right in front of us, or a storm terrifying enough to cause us to cry out to Him.  He is always reaching.  Why?  Because He loves us – and because He wants us to know Him as intimately as He knows us!  Will I be listening and watching to see His gifts each day?  Will I see HIM in each of those moments and get to know Him better?

My guess is that if I am listening and watching and noticing it will cause me to be a very grateful person!  In a few days, Lord willing, many of us will gather with family and friends and pause at the beginning of the biggest meal we will eat all year to reflect on what we are thankful for.  Even before we sit down at that bountiful table, maybe I can look around and see the big and little things every day that are true blessings from God.  Maybe every day can become a day of thanks-giving!

One final thought has been tugging at my heart… as I count my own blessings, I realize that the Lord sends so many of them to me through other people!  God uses His children to be His messengers.  They have touched me in simple ways like a smile, a touch, or a note through the mail; and they have been there for me in BIG ways too, going completely out of their way to rescue me from a broken-down car, making sure I had a meal, or sitting with me for hours while I battled through something heart-wrenchingly difficult.  In my gratefulness, could I offer myself to be one of His messengers too?  Could I bring His love and His mercy, fresh as the morning, as sure as the sunrise, to someone in my path today?

Lord, help me to recognize Your gifts, to be truly grateful. 

Give me a desire to know You, my Creator, my Savior! 

Help me to consciously count my blessings, to make every day a day of thanks-giving! 

Even when there are legitimate things that bring sorrow and struggle, help me to fix my eyes on You, the only One who can make all things new again. 

Help me to trust that there will be a new morning, with a fresh provision of Your love and mercy, and therefore bright, energizing HOPE! 

Open my eyes to see others around me, realize that You love them the same way You love me. 

You want them to know You the same way You want me to know You. 

Show me how to be one of Your messengers to shine Your unfailing love & mercy into someone’s life today.  AMEN.

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