I love it when I wake up with a great song on my mind. Today, at 5AM like an alarm clock, Great Is They Faithfulness played in my brain. And as God knew, from some stuff that has rattled around in my head for some time now, I needed the reminder. I love it that God knows what cycles through my worry-wartiness and to help refocus me, He plants a song.
Like most hymns (very old and very new), God’s Word was the inspiration.
Lamentations 3:22-24 (NASB): The Lord’s lovingkindnesses indeed never cease, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness. “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “Therefore I have hope in Him.”
This great hymn originated as a poem. According to the Gaither website, Thomas Chisholm wrote the poem Great Is Thy Faithfulness as a testament to God’s faithfulness through his very ordinary life. Chisholm became a Christian at age 27 and entered the ministry for a year at 36, forced to retire after a year because of poor health. His life was ordinary, working as an insurance salesman, low-income, nothing impressive. But he had a God-given ability to write poems, several which he published. This was one of those. He wished to record the “unfailing faithfulness of a covenant-keeping God” and his grateful response to Him.
As I sit here thinking about His faithfulness in my life, I realize that my buddy Buster is sleeping on the floor by my chair. Buster is our rescued shepherd/chow mix. He was found by my brother-in-law over 8 years ago injured, hungry, and afraid in a field behind Bob’s office on Highway 51. Buster is a big dog with a big bark and big teeth. He HATES the UPS guy and is not too fond of the guys that do our yard either. BUT he loves us. He seems to know that he is in a good place because of us. And if I get up (as I often do) during the night and wander around because I can’t sleep (a known McHenry trait), he comes with me, waits until I settle again somewhere and then either goes to sleep at my feet or goes back to (one of) his beds. (Just noticed he is now gone). And Buster knows that when the weather is bad (his greatest fear is thunder) or I set off the smoke alarm (he HATES that), that we will comfort him. Buster TRUSTS us and acknowledges our love and care for him by shepherding us (no pun intended – he also will “herd”you at times if he senses you are out of line!) Look up “faithful dog” and you will find that Buster as the example.
God is so much more. “Morning by morning new mercies I see.” He is true to His promises. Though I fail Him, often, He never fails me. He disciplines me. He comforts me. He loves me. He forgives me. He provides without question: “Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow. Blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside!”
So as I face whatever life may bring, I am again reminded “Morning by morning new mercies I see; All I have needed Thy hand hath provided. Great is Thy Faithfulness, Lord unto me!