I have been doing a lot of reflecting as I have recently finished three years of teaching (and planning to move on) and had my 28th birthday. As I’ve been considering the past years of teaching and their highs and lows, I have been brought again and again to the faithfulness of God, and how He has carried me faithfully, patiently, and graciously.
During moments like these, when summer vacation has started and the sun comes out (right now it’s a beautiful 85° with a breeze), it is easy to enjoy where God has placed me and to be grateful for the day. But I can also remember very clearly the days of despair during teaching, those days when my patience did not hold up with my students, when I woke up and could not get myself out of bed, when I would dread going to work and would have to consciously trust God with each step, when I would be anxious in the morning about what problems would happen during the day. I think I need to be reminded of those times every once in a while, as I tend to idealistically think the grass is always greener elsewhere.
Yet during those moments of trial, God has always been faithful to carry me through. Even on days where I could not see hope, I always found myself surprised at the end of the day as I went to bed – God gave me breath and kept me going throughout the day regardless of whether it was a “good” or “bad” day. On days where I gave in to anger or selfishness, God still gave mercy and grace by sustaining me till the following morning. As a dear friend always reminds me, I should always be rejoicing and glad because God made the day and He is good, whether I feel it or not (Psalm 118).
Another friend, in speaking on John 1:16, likened God’s “grace upon grace” to the ocean waves. As the waves wash upon the shore, one upon the other in a never-ceasing and random design, so God pours his blessings on us likewise. These blessings are always present and never-ending, though we may only see one and ignore a multitude of others, or even be completely blind to them all.
On difficult days, one meditation that has given me strength and succor is the popular passage of Lamentations 3:19-26. With each passing moment, God has given mercy enough to last till the next. God is faithful to me even when I lack faith in Him. Morning by morning, He is loving and gracious to keep me through the trials of each day.
“Great is Thy faithfulness, great is Thy faithfulness
Morning by morning, new mercies I see
And all I have needed Thy hand hath provided
Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me”