I opened up my computer tonight without any idea in mind for a blog post. Across the room, Jason has been playing Sesame Street videos out of the blue to perk me up, and I’ve been singing along with some of my favorite old muppet tunes for Baby K to hear. He or she is bouncing around my belly with great energy and affirming what I’ve believed all along–we have a little music-lover on our hands. I already treasure this thought, and can’t wait to sing with baby all day long when the time comes.
In the midst of these natural, simple joys in our living room, I started thinking about the events of the day and the stark contrast between the bright, encouraging moments we’ve just had together as a family and the gray cloud that hung over the afternoon only hours ago. Earlier today, a friend received very difficult news; with her, in that space, it felt so natural to grieve as she processed what was taking place. Even now, she is certainly on my mind–the circumstances, heavy on my heart.
All of this has me thinking. The contrast between grief and joy is so apparent, so it’s striking how God allows room for both in the same space and time. Culturally, I think we’re inclined to believe that when we’re grieving, we should only grieve. When things are somber and low, we should be reverent and quiet and introspective, not letting on to any joy or relief. I suspect that if we could ask God how He feels about this, He would lovingly encourage us to find joy amidst sadness–and I think He shows us this in our daily lives if we look closely enough for the signs.
I’m reminded of the passage in Lamentations 3 that reads, “The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning.” (Lam 3.22-23) Even when we are down and out, or at the end of our rope, we wake each morning with the promise that God’s mercies are new all over again. Isn’t that something!? God wants us to be renewed and refreshed by His mercy, no matter our circumstances. He will even go out of His way with something grand to capture our attention if it is required, and often, He’ll use the little things in our lives to remind us that our deep down joy really matters to Him. In the same way that our little one’s joys and needs and likes and dislikes already matter to me, ALL of our needs matter greatly to God.
Tonight, I’m so blessed by this truth, and by the understanding that my eyes should be open to the ways that God grants me joy–in the little things, in the very big things, and even in the middle of the very hard things in life. I’m reminded of an old hymn tonight that I don’t think of often (although I probably should). It seems the perfect way to capture how I feel about God’s faithfulness to us, and I’m offering it up tonight as consolation for anyone who has had a dark cloud hanging over the day today…
Great is Thy Faithfulness:
Great is Thy faithfulness, O God my Father, There is no shadow of turning with Thee; Thou changest not, Thy compassions, they fail not, As Thou hast been Thou forever wilt be.
Great is Thy faithfulness! Great is Thy faithfulness! Morning by morning new mercies I see; All I have needed Thy hand hath provided— “Great is Thy faithfulness,” Lord, unto me!
Summer and winter, and springtime and harvest, Sun, moon and stars in their courses above, Join with all nature in manifold witness, To Thy great faithfulness, mercy and love.
Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth, Thy own dear presence to cheer and to guide; Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow, Blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside!
so grateful for the morning!