by Kevin Burton
What can I say about the morning that poets through the centuries haven’t already said, much better than I can?
And what could I tell you about the morning that you don’t already hold in your innermost heart?
Answer to both: nothing.
With our heads, we know that each day is not a blank slate. Those projects you didn’t finish yesterday sit undisturbed, and will remain, until you pick up that plow again. We know this with our heads.
But in our hearts? In our hearts each morning is a yawn and a stretch, and possibilities.
One of my Bible memory verses that refers to the morning, has taken that leap above the others and become a daily prayer for me. Here it is in the New King James Version, Psalm 143:8:
“Cause me to hear Your lovingkindness in the morning, For in You do I trust; Cause me to know the way in which I should walk, For I lift up my soul to You.”
This verse seems like a good place to linger, so let’s unpack.
When you see “lovingkindness” in the Bible it often means mercy. Mercy is what I need, first thing. Before my feet hit the floor, God has crafted a day for me that is better than I deserve.
I know what I deserve, and it’s not pretty. If I don’t have that mercy, I will get nowhere. So I need it in the morning, first thing.
To prove the point that I get nowhere on my own, I just about skipped something important in the verse: “Cause me to hear Your lovingkindness….”
Of a morning, left to my own devices I may leap headlong into some problem, some mountain unscalable. Cause me to hear Your lovingkindness Lord, or probably, I won’t.
Then comes trust (“for in You do I trust”). In order to trust God, you have to know God. We trust Him as a father, not to deliver what we want all the time, but to provide what we need.
When King David who wrote Psalm 143 says “in You do I trust” we recognize along with him that we could invest our trust elsewhere, in our own abilities, our wealth, our reputation.
David’s trust was fully in God. Ours also should be.
“Cause me to know the way in which I should walk” is another big ‘cause me’ line from this verse.
It’s a given that I should walk. God has tapped me on the shoulder yet again, sent me off into a new day. I should do something. “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them,” Eph. 2:10 NKJV.
But which way should I walk? Many ways seem right. Some seem obviously right. It is to those places I will go, unless I am yielded to God’s Holy Spirit, and I wait for His answer
Finally the verse reads, “For I lift up my soul to you.” This is ultimate trust. All I am, past present and future, I leave it in Your hands.
You can see why I have made Psalm 143: 8 a prayer. I’m trying to Kev-proof my day, to put so much of God into it that I can’t mess it up.
But if somehow I do, here comes the morning, and God mercy.
More thoughts on the morning from our friends at the website www.gotquestions.org.
“The dawning of every new day could be seen as a symbol of God’s light breaking through the darkness and His mercy overcoming our troubles. Every morning demonstrates God’s grace, a new beginning in which gloom must flee. We need look no further than the breath in our lungs, the sun that shines upon us, or the rain that falls to nourish the soil. The mercies of God continue to come to us via a multitude of manifestations,” the website passage reads.
“There is no expiration date on God’s mercy toward us. His mercies are new every morning in that they are perpetual and always available to those in need. We have our ups and downs, and “even youths grow tired and weary” (Isaiah 40:30), but God is faithful through it all.
“God’s compassion is poured out from an infinite store; His mercies will never run out. Some mornings we get up on the wrong side of the bed, but even there we find God’s mercies awaiting us.
“In Jesus Christ we have the fullest expression of God’s mercy and compassion (Matt. 14;14), and He is “the same yesterday and today and forever” (Heb. 13:8). Jesus’ mercy is indeed “new every morning.”