[[ Lamentations 3:21-24 ]]
Yet this I call to mind
and therefore I have hope:
Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed,
for his compassion’s never fail.
They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion;
therefore I will wait for him.”
I’m not sure when I first identified this as my favorite passage of Scripture. It must have been one of those subtle things; quietly weaving itself meticulously into the fabrics of my heart before I had a moment to notice. By the time I recognized what had happened, it was far too late. These words, these promises, like thread, have woven and tethered themselves so intricately within the fibers of my life, they have become part of me, forever the firm foundation upon which I dance.
I have always been a morning person; perhaps that’s part of it. Some of my most cherished memories have been illuminated by dawns first light. And with each passing year, as time becomes less abundant and simultaneously all the more precious, my appreciation for those early morning hours grows exponentially with it. There is an insatiable craving in me to partake in the compounded potential that seems to reside in the suspended hours surrounding day break.
This verse reminds me I serve a God who is actively, tirelessly making all things new. All things. This includes me. My attitude, expectations, brokenness, great sadness, all of it. It is the great delight of the Father to grant his children the restoration inherent in new sunrises and new days that we might have just one more opportunity to embrace abundant joy that is our inheritance. Sometimes I think God brings the sun up again in the morning just in case I missed it yesterday.
“Did you forget to notice me today? Alright, lets try this again…”
“Do you see me now?” he asks once more with untempered patience.
I do. I do see you.
And I do not say it enough… Thank you.
When everything feels like it’s closing in on me, this passage keeps me getting up in the morning. When I am certain I have done all I can do to tarnish this gracious gift of life, he brings a new day, and it comes to me undefiled, full of promise and potential for new beginnings and renewed mercy. I think this passage is self-evidently ripe with promise, and yet, the more I return to it, the more I am moved by the distinct beauty of its placement: making its home most comfortably in the thick of grief and lament.
In fact, I don’t know that there is another book in the Scriptures so simultaneously depressing and hope-filled in the same breath.
And then, as though this weren’t enough, he asks me to partner with him in this thing he’s doing, this Restoration of All Things, thing. But who am I?
“You are mine” he says without missing a beat.
“For I have summoned you by name.”
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you
When you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire,
you will not be burned;
the flames will not set you ablaze.
For I am the Lord your God,
the Holy One of Israel, your Savior…
Since you are precious and honored in my sight,
and because I love you,
I will give people in exchange for you,
nations in exchange for your life.
Do not be afraid, for I.am.with.you.
And so I am named. And if I am named, so too am I called. And if I am called, then so too shall I go. My answer is yes. Emphatically, yes. I will partner with you, oh God, during this brief and sacred moment you have given me breath enough to speak your Name.
And that is why this daughter of a King, for that is the “what” and the “who” that I am, will forever be chasing the sunrises of her Father.