Recently I want to bed with my stomach tied in knots. I was stressed, worried, frustrated about a particular behavior that one of my children was repeatedly displaying. I went to bed but woke up early the next morning, unable to sleep.
As I quietly worked on a project in my studio, I silently prayed for guidance and for a feeling of calm to replace the stress. I knew it would be foolish to begin the day with this child on the same note it was ended the night before. I paused to watch my favorite sight of the day, the sight of sunlight reaching over the mountains to touch a darkened object with light.
I love this moment. I love studying how the light filters through the trees to the east of my home, noticing where the first rays display their brilliance. Morning after morning, I never tire of watching for the light. And morning after morning, the light never fails to appear. On this particular day, the consistency of the sun bore testimony to me of the consistency of the Son of God. His light never fails.
Then a scripture came to my mind, an answer to my prayer.
“It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.” -Lamentations 3:22-23 His compassions fail not. They are new every morning.
I remember stumbling upon this verse months ago when I was very discouraged. I often go to bed heavy-hearted, painfully aware of my shortcomings, my mistakes, all the poor responses I offered when I should have chosen a higher path. I remember how grateful I felt for the knowledge that the Lord’s compassion for me didn’t fail, that every morning his love and compassion for me was new. It gave me comfort and hope. I memorized it and repeated it to myself often.
On this morning, I had new insight. I saw myself on the offering end instead of the receiving end. I thought of my child and how frustrated I’d felt. These verses offered me new motivation as a mother.
I want to be like that , I thought. My children need it. I need it. I need to increase my compassion for them, even in their weakness when I feel they should try harder. My well needs to be deeper, deep enough that it does not fail. And no matter what happens, I can change my heart so that it is new every morning .
I thought again of the sun. It does not fail to rise, and its light is new every morning.
I prayed again, and a new feeling filled my heart, especially for my struggling child.
I think it’s working. The behavior hasn’t changed much, but my response has. It is softer, kinder, more patient. When I smile at this child, it feels more genuine. My efforts to help this child are more sincere, offered as a gift and not as a somewhat annoyed duty. As I exercise patience, discipline and restraint in order to seek this feeling of compassion, my appreciation for compassions extended to me has grown.
These verses in Lamentations are so true. Without the Lord’s mercies my life would be entirely consumed by failure, despair, sin. In his compassion he offers me forgiveness, assistance, guidance, help. And so I have hope, hope and the gift of new light each day, light to be savored and light to share. A gift of renewal.
His compassions fail not. They are new every morning.
I know this to be true. May you feel it in your life today.