Dear West – 17 January 2019

Dear West Family

I like sleeping. A lot. It isn’t a simple necessity for me, it is an actual exercise in joy, and I am very good at it. When I close my eyes at night I am not thinking, “this is necessary and therefore I ought to do it.” I am thinking, “this is going to be excellent.”

The flip side of that is that I don’t really like waking up. I am not a morning person. Waking up for me requires me to go through the seven stages of grief, every single day. Shock, denial, anger, bargaining, depression, testing and ultimately acceptance. Every…single…day. My long-suffering wife, Sue, brings me a cup of coffee in bed every day of my life, otherwise I would just never get up. Pray for her.

One of the reasons that I struggle in the morning is that most often the first thing that fills my thoughts is … dread. Dread over all the things that I will need to accomplish that day. Dread over all of the things that I failed to accomplish the day before. Dread over another day of potential failings. Dread that yet another day might get wasted when I don’t have many of them to spare.

This isn’t the way that a believer is supposed to wake up, and yet I think that many of us do. We aren’t supposed to wake up with dread. There is something way sweeter that should absorb our first thoughts and affections.

In Lamentations 3, in the midst of a whole lot of dread to be fair, the writer pauses to remind himself of one of the greatest truths in the universe that demands a morning by morning reflection and remembrance. He says…

21  But this I call to mind,
and therefore I have hope:
22  The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;
his mercies never come to an end;
23  they are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.

According to the faithfulness of God, there are a whole set of new mercies that await me every new morning. What a thought! For every morning that I open my eyes, new mercies are allocated for me from a loving God. That should be the first thought that enters my head. Not dread…MERCY! Regardless of what the day ahead looks like and regardless of what the day before looked like, our faithful God meets us every day with his sure and certain mercy. Like little kids on Christmas morning who cannot wait to see the the gifts that have been given to them, we should awaken with joy and certainty and eager anticipation to unwrap the days fresh gifts of grace and God’s kindness.

Dear friend. When your eyes open tomorrow morning, remind your heart….mercy awaits, and then get after it knowing that the same gift waits the day after that. We literally cannot lose.

Sue, if you are reading this, I still need coffee in the morning, but just make sure you whisper “mercy” when you set it down for your loving and somewhat pathetic husband.

See you Sunday friends.

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