Psalm 74: 16a Yours is the day, yours also the night.
I’m fascinated by how God, from the very beginning, set up a rhythm in his creation, calling the light day, and the darkness night. (Gen 1:5). “And there was evening, and there was morning” is the God-ordained cycle in which we live. There is no need to even think whether night will be followed by day because God saw it fit for the earth to rotate on its axis the way it does. There is a sense of hope that comes with the breaking of a new day. The way the sun rises at dawn and overcomes the darkness of night is such a metaphor of how the light of Christ shines and dispels the darkness in our own hearts and in the world. The bible also tells us that God’s mercies are new every morning.
“The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. ‘The Lord is my portion’, says my soul; therefore I will hope in him.”Lamentations 3:22-24
This is a popular scripture passage for many, even though the book of Lamentations itself is usually not a favorite. These verses were written amidst terrible circumstances during the Babylonian invasion of Jerusalem. The entire Lamentations (and the title is so appropriate) expresses pain, fear and sadness as the author describes the devastation around him. The writer was not simply whining. Everything he saw and experienced was absolutely horrible. Chapter 4 verse 10 says, “where once compassionate women have boiled their own children and they became their food.” (Yikes! And I thought I had a bad day?) The once proud city of Jerusalem lay in desolation not because of unexplained tragedy but because of the idolatrous and disobedient hearts of its people. What is fascinating is that in the midst of it all, though plagued by the consequences of sin, the author declares his hope in the steadfast love and faithfulness of God.
Ultimately, it is only because of who God is and the grace he provides that we are able to rise up in the morning and face each day. All other reasons are as good as crumbling bricks and rubble. Some of us may be in a fog right now engulfed by a huge amount of uncertainty. Some of us have been waiting so long for that sliver of light to finally break through the night. The truth is our Savior walks with us in the fog and the night is subject to his authority as well. On looking back at her life as a holocaust survivor, Corrie Ten Boom wrote,
“Today I know that such memories are the key not to the past, but to the future. I know that the experiences of our lives, when we let God use them, become the mysterious and perfect preparation for the work he will give us to do. ”
Until our Bridegroom takes us into glory, we will continue to experience the effects of our own sins and those of others. We will stumble while we love and serve. Even the joys of fellowship with brethren can be interrupted by periods of disappointment and dissent among equally devoted followers of Christ. BUT as long as the Lord is our portion, as long as He is enough for us, we have hope. “Weeping may tarry for the night but joy comes with the morning.” Psalm 30:5b
We have hope because it is Christ who holds all things together. He alone suffices. It is foolish to believe that we need more than or something other than him. Our hearts can rest secure for his mercies never come to an end. Our hearts can find courage because his mercies are new every morning.
“Nevertheless, I am continually with you; you hold my right hand. You guide me with your counsel and afterward you will receive me to glory. Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” Psalm 73:23-26