Blog – 1-13-16
I looked outside my window this morning and saw a true winter wonderland. A winter fog had caused all the trees to be covered in white, and with fresh snow on the ground, everything around me looked clean and pristine. Even the rather pathetic little maple tree in our back yard that has struggled to grow and thrive looked absolutely beautiful in its blanket of white.
A week earlier when I looked out my window all I saw was a sea of gray, dead grass, naked trees, and bushes with no leaves. Everything looked lifeless and dull, a stark contrast to what I witnessed today.
As I was doing my morning devotions, God put the words “clean slate” in my mind, and I realized that’s what it looked like to me outside. Everything that was ugly and dying was covered by beauty.
I also realized that that’s literally who we are in Christ…a clean slate! All that’s ugly and broken inside of us gets made clean by His grace and mercy. God sees us the way we see beautiful winter scenes. The ugliness is under there somewhere, but it’s unrecognizable because of the beauty that is covering it. When we accept God’s free gift of salvation, we are instantly covered in a beautiful blanket of love and grace.
The faithful love of the Lord never ends!
His mercies never cease.
Great is his faithfulness;
his mercies begin afresh each morning.
Lamentations 3:22-23 (NLT)
Most of us keep a catalog of our mess-ups and mistakes in our brain. This list is quickly accessible, and we instantly pull it to the front of our thoughts when we are less than perfect. We try to cover our lists with denial, guilt, and any number of negative emotions. Since we are all generally harder on ourselves than we are on others, these imperfections start to look pretty ugly after awhile. The guilt and shame build up and start making us feel lifeless and dull, much like the view outside my window last week.
The Good News for us that we need to drink deep down into our souls is the verse that says “His mercies begin afresh each morning.” Knowing that we get to literally start each and every day with a clean slate gets me fired up! I need to be reminded of that over and over and over again because I continue to mess up and make mistakes. We all do! What freedom to know that we don’t have to wear the baggage from the past, even from the night before. We can wake up to a winter wonderland of white covering us and encouraging us to wake up to a fresh start and move forward in confidence.
As we are starting the New Year, it feels like it’s a clean slate. We look ahead with great anticipation of what the year will hold. But oftentimes, that freshness wears off quickly. Maybe if we memorized the key part of this verse, “His mercies begin afresh each morning,” we would start each day with the hope and expectation that comes from a clean slate, with no lifeless baggage trailing behind us.
We need to continually remind ourselves that God sees us like the beautiful winter wonderland I see outside my window right now. All the brokenness and shame, all our mistakes and regrets are covered by a blanket of beautiful white. His mercy for us is renewed each and every morning. He gives us a do-over every single day. I don’t know about you, but that looks pretty amazing to me!
Hugs and love,