I’ll just be honest with you. Many of my mornings are spent in fear and regret. My mind runs an instant replay of the day before causing me to grimace at the many mistakes I made.
“Did I really say that to her?”
“Was that worth fighting over?”
“Remember that your actions speak louder than your words.”
Many mornings are spent repenting for my actions the day before and fearful that I’ll make the same old mistakes. I surrender control (again) and choose to partner with God so as not to ruin the brand new mercies I woke up to.
Today is different, though. My old frenemies, Fear and Regret, are nowhere to be found. Rather, they have been replaced by the refreshing and always welcome Joy and Thanksgiving. Like the steaming cup before me, my heart is full and warm this morning.
Why? You ask.
Because yesterday was a good day.
It was one of those rare days when I spent more time smiling than not. I spoke with a nurturing and patient tone to my daughters. If my husband did aggravate me, I was able to laugh it off. We got out of the house in time without arguing. We spent all day in the city just enjoying one another and then we were blessed to participate in our congregation’s family night. It was a genuinely good day.
I am reminded that James 1:17 tells us that everything good and every perfect gift comes down from the Father of lights. This is why my soul rejoices this morning! Yesterday was a good and perfect gift sent down from my Father, the one who placed the heavenly lights in the expanse above.
James 1:17 is a verse I am very familiar with. I have quoted it numerous times in both praise and prayer. I have used it to encourage others to give honor to God for every blessing. This morning, however, I feel particularly drawn to the second half of the verse.
“…who does not change like shifting shadows.”
The muscles in my face begin to relax and shift as they contort from a beaming smile to a quizzical expression.
I reread the verse and realize it is comprised of only one complete sentence. You see, I normally read this verse and interpreted it as if it were two sentences.
Everything good is from God.
God never changes.
Two sentences with two entirely different messages. This morning I feel the Holy Spirit nudging me toward a deeper, more profound, and possibly more accurate conclusion.
Through this verse, He is not commanding praise for yesterday, but He is preparing me for today and tomorrow. He is telling me that although yesterday was a good day, whether today and tomorrow are good or not, He always is.
In Ecclesiastes 3, we read that there is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance, a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing, a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace.
My soul finds rapture in those times for birth and laughter and dancing. I find solitude in the times of embracing and love and peace. In those moments I feel that God is near enough to touch. His voice is so clear it almost seems audible. In those times I have no doubt. I am loved and so it is easy to love in return. He is God and He is good and I cannot and I will not be persuaded otherwise.
But, what about the times of dying? What about the times of mourning and hate and war? What about those days when everyone is arguing, no one is smiling, and we can’t seem to agree on anything? What of God then? Is He not near? Is He not speaking? Am I not loved and is He not worthy of my love?
This morning I am reminded that He does not change. Everything good and every perfect gift comes from Him. But even if those gifts seem to cease or become slow in arriving, and regardless of what today and tomorrow hold, He does not change like shifting shadows.