Day 30: Mercies anew.

June 13, 2013

Last night, after a rather rough day of keeping mental tallies of everything gone wrong and everything outside my control (i.e., everything, haha) and so many apologies that they started to sound trite, this thought came to mind:

Tomorrow is a new day.  His mercies are new every morning.

The finish of one day and the anticipation of a new day is a gift of grace.  It’s a reminder that there are new beginnings and fresh starts.  Today can become yesterday.  God does not hold yesterday’s repented-of sins over my head tomorrow.  No need to dog ear yesterday’s record when the perfect Judge says, “All clear.”

What would motherhood and marriage be without brand new days and an all-clearing God?

Happy 30 days, baby Ian.  And happy 30+ days, JE.  Hehe.

Every morning that breaks
There are mercies anew
Every breath that I take
Is your faithfulness proved
And at the end of each day
When my labors are through
I will sing of Your mercies anew

(Sovereign Grace Music)

Go again.

December 9, 2011

Spurgeon on unanswered prayer: “Go again.”

This, he says, is faith’s response.  Go again.

And again.

And again.

Telos.

July 15, 2011

MABC classes start Monday, and I’ll be sitting through several hours of class again for 5 days.  Like last year, I expect I’ll be barely treading water by the end of Tuesday, trying to keep my head above the flood of truth.  And like last year, I expect it’ll take the whole next year for the waters to even begin to recede.  Can’t wait.  And yet, praying for love that edifies rather than knowledge that puffs up …

So, until next week-ish, one of my favorite quotes that Dr. Baker shared last year in our Intro to Biblical Counseling class:

This life, therefore, is not righteousness but growth in righteousness,
not health but healing,
not being but becoming,
not rest but exercise.
We are not yet what we shall be, but we are growing toward it;
the process is not yet finished but is going on.
This is not the end but it is the road.
All does not yet gleam in glory but all is being purified.
(Martin Luther)

Reads like a breath of fresh air tonight.  Have our questions, progress, issues, burdens, lessons, and trials not yet found their conclusion?  Our God is not anxious.  Things are going as planned.  He sees where they are in their process, and He sees their completion even when we don’t.  As for us, it is comforting to know that we have phrases like “not yet” and “almost” because there is a telos.  There is an end.  A purpose.  Exactly as planned.

Exhale.

Reason to persevere.

May 23, 2011

His work gives life to mine.

My flesh and my heart may fail,

Flesh and heart.  Is there anything left of me beyond flesh and heart?  These may fail.  My strength, my thoughts, my threshold for pain, my resolve, my love, my clutch on His promises — all of me may fail.  And it does.  Often.

but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.

I fail, I grow feeble, but God — never.  He never grows weak or weary.  And He doesn’t just promise to give me strength.  He doesn’t just promise to give me my portion.  He promises to be my Strength.  He promises to be my Portion.  And He will never fail, because when He says forever, He means it.

Moses, Aaron, and Hur.

December 9, 2009

Sweet when you can just look at a picture and hear the story being told in your heart/mind.  :]

Perseverance in love.

July 24, 2009

I was never a long distance runner.  I didn’t see how anyone could enjoy taxing their body to that degree for that long.track_splash

So, when a few friends from school asked me a month ago to run the San Jose Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon with them, I just laughed and said, “I’m not a runner.”  Even the thought of running 13-point-something miles made me tired.

But in the end, they prevailed.

I’ve been training for a couple weeks now, and to my surprise, the greatest difficulty in training hasn’t been the physical conditioning.  It’s been been conditioning my mind to persevere — up steep hills, through shadeless stretches of the trail, and especially in spite of the strong, persisting desire to quit.

God isn’t One to pass up teaching moments, even in the most mundane things, and learning a little about perseverance in running has helped me understand a little more about perseverance in love:

  • Something more than good intentions must be had for the long run.  In running, training.  In loving, discipline–primarily, the discipline of abiding in Him.
  • Few things are more key than intentional self-forgetfulness in perseverance.  Nothing is more key than focusing your mind elsewhere during the long run; focusing on this ache or that will only condition your mind to quit.  Nothing is more key than focusing on Christ’s glory and the good of your neighbor during the long-run; focusing on this ache or that hurt will only make the pain more unbearable and condition you to quit.
  • Keeping your head up and looking forward, even when you’re exhausted, is much better than letting it sway every which way as you run.  It takes effort to maintain good posture, but it keeps the mind clear and helps you run longer and better in the end.  Likewise, it seems like it would be less tiring to give in to wallowing in and expressing every emotion that comes with the challenges of loving family, friends, or strangers; but looking upward and forward keeps the mind fixed and helps you persevere.
  • It’s better to take frequent, quick sips of water throughout the run than occasional, long drinks.  In fact, it’s better to be well watered-up before the run than to drink only in response to thirst.  One is a proactive approach; the other is reactive.  By the time it’s reactive, it’s almost too late.  Marlean Felix spoke at Lighthouse’s annual women’s conference when I was in college, and she spoke about the importance of having a “root system” in place.  It is better to be rooted in His truth well before any storms come.  And when you open your heart to love sinners (sinners just like yourself), storms will indeed come.
  • Running with someone helps you run farther and faster than running alone does (at least, this is true for me).  Accountability and encouragement from a friend as you run is sweet action.  Alone, it is insufficient, but coupled with good training, it gets you far.  Accountability and encouragement from a friend as you seek to love is even sweeter.  Alone, it is insufficient, but coupled with good theology (and the reality of the theology — Theos, the God who is Love), it won’t just get you far … it’ll take you to the end.

Peter, inspired by God, knew the need for perseverance in love.  He wrote to the dispersion in I Peter 4:8, “Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins.”  Keep loving, he tells them.  This exhortation came after he reminded them of the cross of Christ and the reward and hope of God.

Perhaps from a physical standpoint, not everyone can run a half marathon.  Perhaps one injury, even during training, can permanently disqualify a person.  But by the grace of God, no injury or discouragement or pain-from-evil-returned-for-good or whatever can ever permanently incapacitate a person from loving as He does.  He supplies that strength and gladly gives to those who ask Him.

Let’s persevere in love — not by our might but by His.  Christ the path and Christ the prize.