By: Jennifer Arnold
Reflection—v. 78, ‘By the tender mercy of our God, the dawn from on high
will break upon us’
My first year as a teacher was harder than I ever imagined. Nothing I did felt like enough. I didn’t feel like enough. I became depressed. The thing that buoyed me in those difficult times was the sunrise. Every morning I would drive east through the countryside and watch the sun rise over the fields. There I could breathe. If only for a few minutes, I could let go of my anxieties and just be enveloped by God’s tender mercy. At some point, the sunrises began to take on personalities, and I would name them out loud: patient, loving, tender, strong, forgiving, joyful. I imagined God filling me with these attributes, just enough to survive until the next sunrise. This was my grace. In this season of Advent, as the days get colder and the nights get longer, it is easy to feel weary, inferior, and hopeless. But the wonderful thing about God’s empowering and merciful morning light is that it comes to us new every morning—whether we ask for it or not. God does not wait to send the morning light until we believe we are worthy of God’s love. God does not wait until we let go of our deepest fears and anxieties. God does not even need us to have our plans for tomorrow figured out. Is there a better gift than that?
Prayer: God of life, thank you for sharing your love every morning, no matter how we feel.