Every morning I wake up in an ocean. Sometimes the waters are calm, sometimes they are tumultuous, raging with storms that seem to never subside. They are always over my head. It is easy to slip under the waters of fear. It is effortless to drown in downpours of sorrow. It is second-nature to be swallowed whole by waves of regret and fall to the bottom of the dark sea, lying motionless, unable to breathe or speak or love. It is perfectly understandable to simply wake and tread water, pushed in on every side by the never-ending needs that break about me like ocean waves. But every morning, I make a choice to swim to the shore and live.
I open my eyes to the great expanse of God’s love. Breath by breath, I hold fast to the strength of God’s promises. I battle fear with faith that God is sovereign. I daily deal it the final blow, leaving it sinking to the depths of the sea. Stroke by stroke, I speak to my sorrowful heart with hope, reminding her that this life is only a glimpse of the life to come. That all we have lost will be restored beyond what our mortal minds can even begin to comprehend. That these waves of great sadness will not last forever. I leave my sorrows in the great wide sea and move towards the golden shore, where the sun is opening a glorious new day before me. I swim and silence the voices of the waters of regret that crash around me by singing songs of God’s steadfast love and deep forgiveness. My God and Savior, whose mercies never come to an end. They are new every morning.
Every morning I wake up in an ocean. And every morning, it is the strong arms of faith, hope, and love that guide me to the shore, where I stand. And live. And breathe. And love. And move through my life with meaning and purpose. On the shore, I wake to the beauty around me. The colors of sunrise, the taste of coffee, the breath in my lungs, the hearts that beat in the bodies of those I love, the hopeful face of a child, the lilting vibrations of a piano, the music of a voice, the smell of bread baking, the walk to the mailbox, the unexpected sighting of a perfectly synchronized flock of birds, the orchestra of nature, the touch of a friend, the first snow, the light behind the eye, cold water, warm coat, two hands woven together, the flicker of a candle, laughter that doesn’t want to stop.
Every morning I wake in an ocean of fear, of sorrow, of regret, of overwhelm, of easy-to-drown. And every day I make a choice to swim to the shore and live. Because every day begins with morning. And when we move through life in the steadfastness of God’s unchanging love, every morning is mercies-new.