“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
This is a sad and rainy day in my world. Today we bury a dear friend’s dad and it is the anniversary of my own father’s death. Both men loved Jesus and loved their daughters so well. We will miss them for the rest of our days.
Griefs bring up other sad things, more evidences of living in a fallen world are all around me: a new diagnosis of cancer in a young mom, a divorced mother goes to court yet again with her abusive husband; an argument between a mother and daughter that left the scars from piercing words that hurt deeply. And all of this within the church, the Body of Christ. Don’t even get me started on the ravages, the consequences we see all around us from a world that daily denies Christ and His ways. It looks pretty hopeless today as I look outside my church window.
BUT GOD…when all looks so sad, when everything seems to be changing, and not for the better, when my own nasty sin within stares me in the face I turn to my Lord, Jesus. He has always been the same, my merciful Father who never changes and His steadfast love never stops loving even in the midst of a terribly sad day and a fallen world.
How do I know for certain the Lord’s steadfast love never stops? I know because the Bible tells me so. We see God’s covenantal, steadfast love in the Garden of Eden when He provided the garments of skin instead of fig leaves to cover Adam and Eve’s sin and nakedness. We see it again when Abraham was obediently ready to sacrifice his son Isaac and God stepped in and provided a lamb in the bush. It is seen in Joshua, when Rahab, the prostitute, believed God and hid the spies making a way of victory in Jericho for God’s people and salvation for her and her family. We see it in Hosea, as he demonstrated God’s steadfast love by marrying and loving Gomer, his adulterous wife even though betrayed him over and over again. And most beautiful of all, we see this steadfast love in Christ’s life, death and resurrection. “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)
I know the certainty of the Lord’s steadfast love because I have experienced it as true. The Lord has loved me in so many ways out of His great mercy and grace. First and foremost by opening the eyes of my soul to see Christ Jesus as my Savior. A gift of grace that makes all other gifts only a bonus in this life! I cannot remember a day not knowing Jesus as my Lord, my good Father has never and will never leave me nor forsake me. He whispers my name when I mediate on His Word, when I hear the gospel truth in a sermon or on the radio and I’m reminded that He knows me and He loves me.
God has placed me in a family that sees my weaknesses and failings more than anyone else; and yet because they know Christ, they forgive me and love me each time I sin against them and disappoint them. And He has provided me with wise, dear friends who listen to my heart when I hurt and remind me of what is true and that my trust has to be in God’s unchanging steadfast love. The Lord hasn’t ever given me everything I have desired, yet He is teaching me deep contentment as He has become my one Desire.
It’s a rainy sad day, but God who is rich in mercy, will continue to usher in His steadfast love no matter what. His love is a never ending; it is an eternal, loyal love that has nothing to do with my ability to return the favor. And that’s the most beautiful thing about this “new every morning” merciful love! When I am weak, when I fail, when I am sad and griefs abound, this brings me hope: “the steadfast love of the Lord never changes, his mercies never come to an end.” May it be your source of hope too.
Sacred Story is honored to have Kari Stainback as a guest contributor this month. Kari has served as the Director of Women’s Ministries at Park Cities Presbyterian Church in Dallas, TX for 15 years. She is a graduate of Baylor University and holds a Masters in Biblical Counseling from Dallas Theological Seminary. Though she has lived in Dallas, TX for nearly 30 years, she loves going home to her hometown, Greenville, TX on a regular basis to visit her family. She considers being an aunt to 10 nieces and nephews and one great nephew one of her greatest joys in life.