At church this morning, we sang the hymn "Great Is Thy Faithfulness." One of the lines of that song is "Morning by morning new mercies I see." The song is based on Lamentations 3:22-23, which states (in the King James Version): "It is of the Lord's mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness." God's mercies are present on a day-by-day basis.
thought about a contemporary Christian song that I used to hear on the
radio to and from work. It's by Out of the Grey, and it's called "If I
Know You" (click here to listen). The chorus goes: "If I know You, You will turn this day into a perfect surprise.
If I know You like I think I do the worst of times will work out
right." At the end of the song, the chorus says "If I know You like I know I do", rather than "like I think I do" (emphasis mine).
The idea seems to be that God can turn things around for the better on a daily
basis in our lives. It's not just a matter of plowing through each
day, hoping for some distant breakthrough. Rather, God can turn this day
into a perfect surprise. Each day, I can see God's mercies. And the
latter was said during a time of profound lamentation, when Jerusalem
was experiencing things that many of us probably cannot imagine.
remember someone giving a testimony at a church that I attended a while
back. She was arguing with her husband earlier one day, and later in
the day he bought his dream-car for a good price. Her husband was
amazed that his day turned out that way! Her response was, "That's the
way God works." Or there was Joyce Meyer, who said in a sermon that God
knew she likes coffee, and God arranged for her to have a gift-card to a
coffee-shop (I'm saying this from memory, which may be imperfect). Her
point was that God may drop little gifts into our lives out of his love
Many may read that and see it as
rather shallow. But, on some level, I can identify with people looking
to God to make their day better. When I am depressed, I hope and pray
that something will soon happen that will make me happier, or
that at least will alleviate my depression. I hope that God will turn
my day into a perfect surprise.
extent I can call this outlook a "one-size-fits-all" approach, I do not
know. Can I tell someone with clinical depression to cheer up because
God will turn his or her day into a perfect surprise? What about the
Third World? For that matter, what about the people in the First World
who work long hours for little pay, or people who are hit with heavy
medical bills? I believe that, in some sense, we can see God's mercies
all around us: in the sunrise, the sunset, etc. But, when it comes to
God's involvement in the lives of specific human beings, I wonder where
God is in the situations I just mentioned. I once asked that question
in a Bible study group, and the leader responded that poor people can
experience God at a deeper level than the privileged, since they depend
on God more. Then, he smugly chided me for asking my question, saying
that I didn't know much about the issue from my position of middle-class
privilege----even though he himself came from middle-class privilege.
Smug as he was, there may have been some truth in what he was saying. I
just have a hard time saying it's the whole story. Would I be
trivializing people's pain, were I to say that God is somewhere in their
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