Today was our first day of school. It went well, overall. We dove in, there was nothing else for it.
After a pep talk given by me (and for me, if I’m being honest) about committing our year to “work heartily as to the Lord,” even in multiplication tables and lamentable fractions, and encouragement that we’ve been given a Helper and Comforter called the Holy Spirit who helps us turn from anger and frustration to working heartily as to the Lord, we began.
Sometimes when things go well it’s as daunting as when they go poorly. The kids did well, and in that, they showed me what a “good” day is going to take. It takes a lot–a lot of time, a lot of patience and a lot of sticktoitiveness. By the end, I was sapped and wondering what a bad day might do to me.
Then I remembered Matthew 6, “Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” A day’s worth of trouble is all I can do, even if it’s only a good day’s worth of trouble. And I remembered Lamentations, “His mercies are new every morning.” New, clean mercies for old, rotten troubles.
The troubles just seem to recycle themselves and I just keep being troubled by them, even knowing there is nothing new under the sun. But the mercies aren’t recycled. They’re new–fresh mercy and grace from the cross everyday. God grants “grace to help in our time of need.”
There are times when I’d like to short circuit the whole thing and and have the two somehow cancel each other out in perpetuity, so that I don’t have to deal with the trouble or applying the mercy! But that’s not the Christian life. The Christian life is day after day, step after step, a plodding (sometimes racing! whee!) kind of life–not coasting, legs going up and down.
Trouble is part of the deal, so is mercy and grace. So today I face the trouble and triumphs of today and I receive the mercy and grace for the present moment from a God who makes the earth spin around everyday, and causes the tides to move everyday, and makes flowers bloom everyday, and makes our hearts beat every second and does a million other repetitive glorious things.
I imitate His constancy in the repetitive everyday work of facing trouble and receiving daily grace and mercy. Make this sinner faithful, Lord, because of your steadfast-everyday-fresh-repetitive-irresistible love.