Friday, March 13, 2015

When Evening Comes

It amazes me how one moment can change the entire course of a day.  Sometimes it is a welcome shift but other times it threatens to derail our lives completely.  Yesterday, I encountered the latter.

There is a reason the Scriptures tell us, "Today, if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts," because it only takes one day, twenty four hours, to stray from God's commands.   This is why we "encourage each other daily, so that none may be hardened by sins deceitfulness."  Not a day goes by but that we need encouragement to keep tuned towards God.  (Heb. 3:7-8, 13) 

God's love remains, I know this to be true. (Heb. 13:5b)  But sometimes it takes every ounce of faith for me to stay in that love.  Shame pushes me away, and right now I'm simply groping to pull together the fragmented pieces.  If only I could go back and redo.  If only....if only.  But what's done is done and I have to move on because if I dwell on regrets it will destroy me.  

Mornings are easy.  It is my most productive time and my most disciplined.  But come four o'clock and all that starts to wane.  By evening I often do battle to keep my will in check with God's best for me.  It is easy for murmuring and complaining to set in, which leads to discouragement.  This is why I've posted on my fridge, "Let me be singing when the evening comes!"  Not only does it motivate me toward right food choices, but it also spurs me on towards 'love and good deeds'.  It reminds me to praise rather than grumble, and believe rather than doubt. 

When I arrive at the end of the day, I want to say, "It was a good day."  However, I have a part in making it good.  The choices throughout my day do matter.  They can lead me to the point of peace and joy or self-accusations and defeat.  Do I believe the Lord directs my steps?  Do I believe He is in control?  Do I believe He is big enough to fix what is broken?  This is a new kind of faith of which I'm not so familiar.  Not that I don't make mistakes, but that I usually take the road of shame. 

God has been good to me and I don't want to forget all His benefits.  I will sing about His love in the morning and His faithfulness at night.  He is the Rock I hold onto when my feelings take me elsewhere.  Even though I travel through deep waters, even there His hand will guide me.  Even there He is with me.  He knows.  He sees.  He cares.  This too, will pass for He will bring me to the other side. 

Sing like never before, the song says.  Indeed, in the midst of these troubles I sing in a way I've never sung before, with a whole new aching realization of my need for God, my need of His mercy.  I rise from that place of praise with an overwhelming sense of gratefulness, for the blood of Jesus gives me a clean slate.  He "remembers my sins no more."  (Heb. 8:12)

The sun comes up its a new day dawning,
It's time to sing Your song again.
Whatever may pass
And whatever lies before me,
Let me be singing when the evening comes.

Bless the Lord, O my soul
O my soul, worship His holy name.
Sing like never before, O my soul
I'll worship Your holy name. 
(by Jonas Myrin and Matt Redman)

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