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So often I’m confronted by my own lack of faithfulness.  To keep up with housecleaning, to keep up correspondence with precious old friends and family, to proactively train my children, to to keep up with finances, to write in my journal, to meditate on God’s word, to stick to a meal plan (or follow through with any plan, for that matter), to keep the things of the Lord at the front of my mind, to keep looking to Jesus as the greatest treasure of my life when I am faced with lesser things that vie for my attention.  And I have a tendency to become consumed with my failures, endlessly looking within until all I can see is my own inadequacies.  It’s a good recipe for discouragement.

IMG_4265Such was my state of mind the other morning as I sat out on our front porch, soaking in the early morning sunlight and breathing the crisp, cool air, trying to wake up enough to read my Bible before the boys awoke and demanded my attention.  Since we’d recently had some good rain, I could hear a quiet rush of water in our creek, the sound gentle but constant.  The birds, squirrels, and even a deer had all put on a small show for me.  Getting to see some of God’s curious creatures always seems a special gift to me that makes me smile.  Some relaxation and a smile was nice, but still I was carrying the weight of my own failures, my own lack of faithfulness.

I began to study the trees, now rich with colors of orange, red, green, and brown.  I love fall.  Every year.  Every … year … It struck me how faithful and constant the seasons are.  And how mankind has for all of his history depended upon them for survival, for sustenance.  All of the constants by which we measure time and number our days, the sun, moon, and stars, the day and night and seasons, these things are constant because they are made and upheld by the ultimate constant:  God.

Then God said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night, and let them be for signs and for seasons and for days and years; and let them be for lights in the expanse of the heavens to give light on the earth”; and it was so.   Genesis 1:14-15

He did good and gave you rains from heaven and fruitful seasons, satisfying your hearts with food and gladness.  Acts 14:17 

He [Christ] is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power.  Hebrews 1:3

So many truths of Scripture poured into my head as I gazed upon the beautiful view of fall foliage on our own little slice of creation.  But most of all, I was struck by God’s constancy, His faithfulness, His utter dependability–especially now in contrast to my own lack of the same.  The God who created the heavens and the earth, who keeps this world spinning, who keeps the seasons coming, on whom we all depend whether we realize it or not–this unchangeable, trustworthy God has sent His Son to die in my place, wiping clean my record and crediting His faithfulness to my account.  He has called me His child, promised to never leave me nor forsake me, and has promised to return for me some day, righting all the wrongs and establishing His righteous kingdom forever.  Why do I despair over my own instability when I have such a Rock to lean on?

So often, blinded by my own self-reliance or self-loathing, I fail to hear creation screaming to me of God’s faithfulness (see Psalm 19).  The beautiful, constant, humbling reminder that all of creation–and even all of my salvation–depends first and foremost (and ultimately) upon God’s faithfulness and not my own.  Praise God.

Great is Thy faithfulness, O God my Father;
There is no shadow of turning with Thee;
Thou changest not, Thy compassions, they fail not;
As Thou hast been, Thou forever will be.
Summer and winter and springtime and harvest,
Sun, moon and stars in their courses above
Join with all nature in manifold witness
To Thy great faithfulness, mercy and love.
Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth
Thine own dear presence to cheer and to guide;
Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow,
Blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside!
Great is Thy faithfulness! Great is Thy faithfulness!
Morning by morning new mercies I see.
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided;
Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me!