Deeper Hope:

An Abiding Virtue

This book explores the meaning -- and application -- of Christian Hope. It takes the fuzzy concept of Hope and reveals it in everyday settings



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Mercy, Fresh Each Day

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;
   his mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning;
   great is your faithfulness.
~ Lamentations 3: 22-23

Is there anything quite like the aroma of baking bread? Without overpowering  the house it permeates the air with an invitation to come and eat. If you were lucky enough to grow up in a home that celebrates each morning with fresh biscuits, you woke up to the scent of goodness in the morning.
Perhaps because I’ve never met a carbohydrate I didn’t like, or perhaps because God served fresh biscuits to the people of Israel in the desert wilderness every morning for forty years, I’ve come to expect the smell of his goodness every morning. I’ve begun to train myself to discover his lovingkindness day by day.
Hidden midway through suffering poems of lament is the revelation of God’s constant and faithful provision for each one of us. In part, the lesson of these verses calls us to look for his mercies daily, to sniff them out, because regardless of our circumstances he is present and overflowing with mercy. If the weeping poet of Lamentations became convinced of God’s daily mercies can we not discover the same?
We were made to eat fresh bread. We do not have to live off of aging mercy. Who would be satisfied to breakfast upon biscuits three days old, or those frozen and served a month later? No. The Heavenly Father is a better parent than that. Amazingly, the poet of Lamentations suggested that even when life is at its most difficult stages, we can be assured of God’s constant and daily care.
What if we determined to discover the reality of this revelation? What if each day were a hunt to discover the mercies which he prepared this morning? What if this is not simply a good idea, but the grace to restore our senses, heal our eyes and enable us to see his goodness? What if we engaged in the discipline of searching out and identifying his fresh mercy? If we choose, it can move us to daily action, to search for--and discover--the gifts he has placed in our path. Where will you discover the table he has set today?

Reader Comments (6)

I am getting older and less capable every morning. I can’t complain because the smeller still works, the taster still works, the sounds still mostly come through and with glasses my sight is as good as it ever was. It is easier to be on the decline when we get older than when we were more competitively youthful. I do, though, remember and miss waking up rested and more capable than I was the previous morning. It is easier on this decline because I have had more than enough experience to know my Father in Heaven will feed me today even better than I could alone, starting every morning as it has every morning previous. Even when I was at my peak of producing I could not have fed me or mine as well as my Father has every single morning without fail.

October 11, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterHerm

I'm grateful that you still have so many parts that work well, Herm. Blessings.

October 11, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRay Hollenbach

I love this, both for how you wrote it—it's so full of YOU—and for what it says about God:

"Perhaps because I’ve never met a carbohydrate I didn’t like, or perhaps because God served fresh biscuits to the people of Israel in the desert wilderness every morning for forty years, I’ve come to expect the smell of his goodness every morning."

Although I grew up in a church that recited the Lord's Prayer all the time, I'll never forget hearing, for the first time, what "give us this day, our daily bread" really meant. For me, it's the most powerful line in a very powerful prayer.

October 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKristin T. (@kt_writes)

Going through a time of transition now, and it's harder than I anticipated- I needed to hear this! Starting the hunt now!

October 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterStephanie C

Kristin: I am reminded every so often how those of us in North America forget to ask for "our daily bread." Oh, we might (possibly) recite the words, but do we really recognize our need of provision? If it's actual bread, most of us earn enough to provide for ourselves (apart from the Father). If it's mercy-bread, many of us are not even aware of the need.

Stephanie: Peace to you through the changes. So glad these few words helped in some way.

October 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRay Hollenbach

… “If it's actual bread, most of us earn enough to provide for ourselves (apart from the Father).” …

Ray, when you were raised in your parent’s home did you ever “earn enough to provide for” yourself? This is an issue in our United States of America; too many of us believe we earn enough “apart from the Father”.

As a child, if you were lucky enough to have a paper route, water lawns or even sell lemonade would you have been able to do so without the neighborhood your parent’s provided? How much of your "earnings" did you provide for your upkeep in your parent's home as a child and, if your did volunteer some, did it come even close to cover the costs for you?

It is by our Father’s grace that we have even the most meager opportunity for life on this Earth. I have been around the world and no other country has been graced with so much as the USA. We ignore more than any other nation how much we were gifted and that we did not earn any of the resources we have been loaned by our Father. Where is the source for all our “talents”, how have we invested those talents and to whom do we eventually have an accounting?

I am extremely skilled to share many productive efforts with my Father’s children, our siblings, as clearly are you. Those skills (talents) are my responsibility and I will be called to account as to how well I invested them. I am still His small child (not to be ever His equal or even His adviser as is our Eldest Brother). I am no less or more loved than all His children who have been gifted less or more talents than I, each of us uniquely.

I am still His dependent in the neighborhood He provides and promises to maintain as long as all of man is dependent on it. My Father has the ultimate authority in the “Neighborhood Watch Comity”, the “Home Owners Association” and the "PTA".

Might I not consider myself a relatively rebellious child when I tell Him I earn enough apart from Him ... for anything?

Peace my brother for our Father remains forever vigilant and most capable in our behalf and it is an easier job for Him when we accept that we are His children.

We play at providing for ourselves in emulation of what we see our Father is doing for us. He still gets to drive the car as the responsible adult while we are lucky to have a tricycle to get further than we could even consider when a newborn child. Both the car and the tricycle remain subject to His judgment to loan and/or take back as we develop over an eternity.

Lamentations 3: 22-23 means even more when I consider that I am no more (or less) than His child and how comforting it is that He is my Father that I can have total faith in to provide for me.

October 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterHerm

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