[His unfailing Love]
When I started writing this piece I never intended it to become a two-parter, but God gave me a lot to work with! He’s gracious like that. Though life hasn’t been short on struggle it’s also been abundant in God’s grace and 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 a particular song that God gave me months back.
Before this more recent trial ever hit, the song that I was given was Casting Crown’s “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 was 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, when I rise. (That’s 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.
When I was thrown off balance as things started to shift undesirably so with my health (anxiety, then depression), though I kept seeking God, I lost sight of the bigger picture. This song is the bigger picture, and 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 like this: “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 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; That He will prove Himself strong on our behalf; That 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
In my struggle, these words meant so much to me. Even now they speak that 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 a note down on. 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) It was a sweet gesture, though I’m sure I was still a bit disheartened by my imperfect card. Looking back though, it’s rather 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. I’ve also been reminded that He’s helped us through it all before, and He can do it again.
The word “happy” in Scripture may be better translated as blessed, and though that 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.
Miracle or not, I know that God still loves me, and that joy can still come in the morning. That 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 God. In my longing, He’s answered 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, and the long list of how He’s always provided for us hasn’t changed either. Sometimes I do lose sight of what’s more important, but He’s always gracious and generous with His gifts and reminders—even giving me word, as I rise, of His unfailing love.
Lord, make us rivers…
If you’re interested in reading more from this series, all entries can be found here:
And the first entry can be found here: