I'm not a morning person, but today I got up early-ish and watched as the midnight blue sky slowly faded to a pale blue-gray. I sipped coffee as my husband flipped a page in his Bible. My mind strayed from telling God how great he is to worrying about the events of this week. The weekend was full of friends and family celebrating our daughter's birthday, lots of conversations about the church we are in the process of planting that may or may not launch in the next few weeks, and talking with a realtor about listing our house so that we can find a house with room for our parents. My birthday girl has been struggling with anxiety for months now, and I'm at a loss as to what to do to help her. She had another bad night last night with tears and an upset tummy. It was quite an overwhelming weekend that has led us into what appears to be a frighteningly chaotic week. Hello, Monday.
I flipped open my Bible to my spot for today in Psalms, and as I began to read almost cried with relief at God's love for me. This morning's chapter was Psalm 136. The first verse reads,
Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever.
Every verse in this chapter ends with "for his steadfast love endures forever".
I'll admit, that when life gets hairy and scary, my coping skills include overeating, oversleeping and binge watching Netflix. The results do nothing to help me deal with real life, they are just ways for me to escape reality and leave me in a more anxious state than I already was. But, God is good, and his steadfast love endures forever. So my prayer on this Monday morning has been that God will help me to know his love this week in the midst of chaos and stress, and that I will turn to him for escape above everything else.
There is potential for disappointment, frustration and exhaustion, but there is also extraordinary opportunity for the goodness of God to be on display. When I consider this, I find myself looking forward to the events of the week, curious to see how difficult it will get, and how glorious God's sovereignty will be. And truthfully, all of the stress and chaos are result of really, really good things. They are the result of the Gospel work of Jesus in this world. Churches being planted, our family coming together to help each other, and the celebration of the children God has gifted to us. All good things that the enemy would like to twist and use for his own purposes of destruction in my soul. But God's steadfast love endures forever. I have no reason to fear the enemy. And neither do you.
Maybe you are facing just such a week, too. Maybe you have that same anxious knot in your stomach as the different scenarios of your week play out in your mind and steal your joy. If so, take a moment to read Psalm 136 and consider God's steadfast love for you that endures forever. His love stretches beyond today, this week and even past our time on this earth.
My prayer for you and me this week is that we will press into the steadfast love God has for us. I pray that we will not give ourselves over to lesser saviors for comfort and rest, but rather trust our true Savior and the peace only he can give. I pray that we will pull our children close when we are stressed, and let them know that our love for them is more important than the stress and busyness of life. I pray that we will give thanks to God for his goodness that shines even brighter in the most difficult of weeks. I pray that as we walk through our trials, unbelievers will see his goodness radiating from our lives, and they will know God's steadfast love for them as well.
In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith-more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire-may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation Jesus Christ. Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls. 1 Peter 1:6-9