[His unfailing Love]
It wasn’t my intention for this to become a two-parter, but God gave me a lot to work with! He’s gracious that way. Though life hasn’t been short on struggle it’s also been abundant in His help.
Originally what sparked this piece was the need to get back that deeper joy. In my desire for a better start to my day these words came to my mind, “In the morning when I rise, give me Jesus.” It’s a Jeremy Camp song, but it reminded me of another song that God gave me months back.
Make Me A River
Before this more recent trial ever hit, God gave me a song by Casting Crown’s called “Make me a River.” At the time I was on cloud nine, so it meant something a little different to me then. As I embarked on new territory (seeing an Endocrinologist, and trying new medication) I was hopeful: I knew God was with me; my eyes were on the horizon; I was enjoying writing, and I was excited to share God’s love.
Perhaps none of that has really changed, but now, this song also speaks to me this: “I knew you’d need this reminder, so here you go, kid.” This song expresses exactly where my heart and mind were set before things started to go sideways, and where I’ve needed to turn my gaze once again (I just couldn’t see it through the wind and waves).
I’d been fighting to figure out where and how I’d lost that joy. I need it back–specifically in the morning. (This is important! The mindset you begin your day with can make or break your day.) As I searched for the answer, there it was. Again, God never fails to throw out those lifelines–in many cases, long before we ever need them.
The Bigger Picture
“Make me a River” is the bigger picture, and I love that it alludes to a couple of my favorite Bible verses. The first verse comes from the Book of Psalms:
“Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I entrust my life” –Psalm 143:8
Casting Crowns has written it this way: “In the morning when I rise, Jesus be my eyes. Before the day rushes in, with you is where I begin.”
When I rise, I need to start my day like I did before: trusting God; asking for His direction, and entrusting Him with my life. This was and should remain my song and my first line of defence: God Himself.
The second verse is one that also appeared on a birthday card I received from our church this April: Zephaniah 3:17. It’s a soothing reminder that God is a loving Father who is right there with us in every trial; He will prove Himself strong on our behalf; He takes joy in us, and He will comfort and calm us in His love–even rejoicing in us. This is the melody God’s heart sings, and there is triumph, and victory in it’s verse!
“The Lord your God in your midst. The mighty One will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness; He will quiet you in His love, He will rejoice over you with singing. –Zephaniah 3:17
Receiving this Scripture through a greeting card takes me back many years to another birthday, and yet another lifeline that God tossed my way in a time of need: I’d been struggling with depression back then as well. The verse in the card that I was given read this:
“You will be happy, and it will be well with you” –Psalm 128:2
Symbols of Hope
In my struggle, these words meant so much to me. Even now they speak hope once again. I held on to that card like I held on to that hope.
Not realizing that I meant to save it, however, Andrew tore the card in half in his search for something to jot down a note. When he learned that I meant to keep it, he was apologetic; he taped the two pieces back together, and handed the card to me. (lol)
Though I’m sure I was a bit disheartened by my imperfect card, it was a really sweet gesture. Looking back, this card is so symbolic to me. I felt just like that torn card in need of mending. I did get a reprieve from the depression, as the reasons behind it were revealed: Hashimoto’s Disease, S.A.D., and gluten sensitivity. This is another reminder that He’s helped us through it all before, and He can do it again.
You Shall Be Happy
The word “happy” in Scripture may be better translated as blessed, and though this brand of happiness isn’t dependant on our feelings or circumstances we know that the word “blessed” always spells hope for those who trust in God. I don’t know how God will choose to answer my prayers, but His unfailing love never ceases to comfort me in my distress.
Joy Still Comes in the Morning
Miracle or not, I know that God still loves me, and that joy still comes in the morning. This hope can be constant if we remember that our trials and burdens aren’t void of purpose. I was reminded of this fact through a fellow WordPress blogger, Bill Sweeney, of Unshakable Hope, who shares his story of living with ALS. His post “Why Me?” speaks of the hope within every trial, from that promising angle of “purpose.”
As I read the lyrics to “Make me a River” now, I see God’s story unfolding, not only for myself and Andrew, but for all of who put their trust in Him. In my longing, He answers my desperate heart, reminding me that the most important things are still intact.
When things have changed, there’s always one thing that never changes: God’s love for us. My love for Him is still intact too. Sometimes I do lose sight of what’s more important, but He’s always generous with His gifts and reminders—even giving me word, as I rise, of His unfailing love.
Lord, make us an outpouring of your love. Make us rivers.
Next—>Birds of a Feather