Have you ever heard the song by Nicole Nordeman called “Mercies New?” That song was going through my mind this morning. I don’t really know much of it except the chorus, but the chorus goes like this:
Your mercies are new every morning
So let me wake with the dawn
When the music is through or so it seems to be
Let me sing a new song, old things gone
Every day it’s true,
You make all Your mercies new
I planned yesterday to finally, FINALLY go on a horse ride again. It has been at least three weeks, what with all the loose ends I was working on before leaving for our vacation and then being gone for 8 days. So, last night I hooked up the horse trailer, set out my riding clothes and set the alarm for a 5am wake up. The horses could eat, I could have my quiet time and still arrive at the trail head by 7am so I could get home by 9am. Since Breezy, my most reliable “steady-headed” mount, is likely to be out of shape after such a long lay off, I figured an hour to hour and a half ride would be long enough for him.
I literally woke with the dawn…before, in fact.
Even before I got out to the trail with Breezy I could feel the ever-so-slight changes in my heart–the edge in my spirit being sanded away by the Spirit of God.
What edge? Hmm….Well, you see, in spite of all my spouting off here and elsewhere of how “gratitude changes things,” or “we must deny self,” and whatever else, in between making lo-o-o-ong lists of things I am thankful for my “Gratitude Blog” and shooting off my mouth about it, I have nevertheless been allowing anger and resentment–bitterness–to build in my life. This always always always results in disordered eating for me.
This is the first time since November of 2006 that I have felt so MUCH yuck in my life that I haven’t dealt with as it comes up. A lot of new stuff cropped up within the past couple of weeks, I guess. I keep shoving it down, shoving it down. And…numbing with food, too, I think. I knew that a new situation and the woundings I have felt through it had to be offered to the Lord. Yesterday, on the hour long drive to a friend’s house, the Lord and I went through it in a lot of detail…and I prayed and chose to forgive…but it isn’t that easy, sometimes. Like a monkey on my back, it clings!
Not only that, but some new challenges with my son have touched off *that* old issue for me, too, (my resentment of his autism). Everything has been festering, I guess. Put these emotional struggles and my resistant heart together with a needy kid at midnight and, well, I woke up early yes…with the dawn, yes…but instead of worshiping God, I was tired, cranky, and doing ANYthing BUT singing gratitude and praises to God.
To add insult to injury, I made myself step on the scale before dressing and it confirmed the condition of my heart (which I already knew…)…the body is up 5 pounds since the last time I weighed. I guess all that crusty hardness I have allowed to build up on my heart weighs quite a bit. My attitude has been ROTTEN. I have had moments of tenderness and obedience, yes. Moments where I walk away from temptation and have denied myself. That is true.
But lately, I have had a LOT more moments of angry eating…and in my pride, I have minimized the significance of the moment, this choice. I can make a flesh-based choice or a Spirit-filled choice. I have been making a lot of flesh-filled choices, one on top of the other…mostly about what attitude I will cling to…choosing to allow my heart to harden, harden, harden. Then, when I have eaten outside of godly parameters I have insisted in my pride that “I can TOO have this food. I can do what *I* want.” Ugh…
That is the person who “awakened with the dawn” this morning. That is the person who poor Breezy had to cart over hither and yon this morning. I even had an attitude toward Breezy as the last time I rode him, he was not at his best. I approached even Breezy this morning just like I have been approaching everyone… “YOU OWE ME.” (For the record, Breezy will typically have NONE of that! LOL!)
God’s mercies are new every morning. The trails were quieter than usual. We live in a small town, but the trailhead is near where two country highways come together–a “hub” of morning commuter activity. For some reason, the traffic noise carried the *other* way this morning. The sun was bright, the sky gorgeous cerulean blue, the birds calling…it was an amazing morning to be on a horse–a horse who was AMAZINGLY giving me his heart and soul…and mind, thought *and* his feet today! He was a perfect angel.
Normally, my spirit soars and I literally sing out loud. Today, I was feeling so grumpy that I didn’t want to talk. (I was REALLY grump!) I prayed in my spirit about how I was feeling about things…and the nasty, hard edge, was being rasped away, bit by bit by the Spirit’s gentle work…
Breezy was going at such a nice and steady walk that we got all the way to my favorite “lake” (actually, just a large pond). There, I was greeted by a coyote who rushed across the path…what a beautiful coyote, too! Normally, they are so scrawny out there, but this coyote had a lush thick coat in spite of the time of year and how most mammals have shed their coats… On the pond, sat a merganser (I think!) a pair of mallards, and a beautiful Great Blue Heron beat his massive wings in the sky just overhead, having been startled from his early morning feeding ground. A rabbit scurried from berry bush to berry bush, hiding in the thicket. Breezy, as always, kept his head. One of my other horses would likely have jumped out of his skin! 🙂
As I looked around, enthralled by the beauty of the morning, even the greens of the trees and the fields, the poppies, the wild flowers…all of it…the colors all seemed much deeper…and thousands of variations of each color. The quails calling to one another in the briars–issuing their warning cries…the three pair of Canada Geese sitting in the marsh. I know their goslings were hiding. (Isn’t it cool that they mate for life?)
So many blessings met me there…so many mercies. If I could but drink it in…but it is like getting a sip of water from a fire hose…too much, too many…
Yet here I am…in my hard-hearted state…talk about Grace. Grace met me on the trail today. Mercy flooded my heart.
God’s kindness really DOES lead me to repentance…so that is what I am here to do. Not to proclaim to you what *you* should do. That is between you and the Lord. Today, I confess, instead, what God has moved me to do and why. I choose to let go of all my anger, bitterness, resentment. I choose a humble heart. I choose to let go of “my will,” “my rights,” “my way,” “my food,” “my schedule….” I choose to forgive. I choose to be wounded, if necessary. If I can know Christ and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings and that means being hurt by those I love, I will know all the more closeness with Him as He teaches me forgiveness which flows from the cross.
Lord, all of it is yours. May I do only that which you want. My life is yours…