New Beginnings Every Day!

“…His compassions never fail.  They are new every morning.” Lam. 3:22-23

“Every new morning is a new beginning of our life.  Every day is a completed whole.”  These are the words that begin the devotional thought for today in a book I’m reading based on the writings of Dietrich Bonhoeffer.  The thought of each morning being a new beginning for us is certainly not something I haven’t heard before.  What Bonhoeffer goes on to say, however, is.  He writes, “God created day and night so that we might not wander boundlessly, but already in the morning may see the goal of the evening before us.  As the old sun rises every day, so the eternal mercies of God are new every morning.  To grasp the old faithfulness of God anew every morning, to be able—in the middle of life—to begin a new life with God daily, that is the gift that God gives with every new morning…”

I find Bonhoeffer’s explanation for why God created day and night fascinating.  He felt God knew we would have a tendency to “wander boundlessly” and that this would cause trouble for us.  Therefore He put us in a world where we would know each morning that darkness would return each evening and we would therefore have to order our lives accordingly.  I realize that this thinking doesn’t necessarily fit into a modern society where earth’s darkness is no longer a hindrance to travel or wandering, but I feel that there is a message here that is still pertinent.  We are meant to live within nature’s cycles.  We should be humble enough to admit our limitations and also our need for rest.  There is much in God’s Creation that reminds us that we are not meant to always be doing something.  We all need rest—physical, mental and spiritual.  In Bonhoeffer’s view, every sunrise and sunset offers us this important reminder.

Reflecting on the words found in Lamentations 3, Bonhoeffer rightly affirms that every new day is a gift from God and that a part of this ongoing gift is God’s love or compassion.  This is something each of us should remember at the start of each new day.  Every sunrise is a reminder of God’s love and faithfulness to us.  Every sunrise is, likewise, a memo that we have another chance “to begin a new life with God.”  Apparently, in God’s plan new beginnings are called for every single day, not just at the beginning of each New Year.  I don’t know about you but I am incredibly grateful for that.

–Chuck

(I took the top image at sunrise on the east coast at Acadia National Park.  I took the bottom image at sunset on the west coast at Redwood National Park.)