Recently, I was fortunate enough to spend a week’s holiday at Soldiers Point with my husband and kids. Every morning I took my cup of tea and contemplated the view from our holiday apartment. Each day it was the same vista before me but each day there was something new to enjoy and appreciate; the dawn light, a pelican sailing regally by, the colours of the water changing from blue to gold to grey and back again; serenity.
The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.Lamentations 3:22 – 23
As we know, life can be full of surprises – the joyful and the difficult. Often the difficult times are outside of our control; life happens and we feel helpless. In times like these, knowing and trusting in God’s great faithfulness and steadfast love is an anchor. But if you are anything like me, there are also those moments of realisation and despondency (I’ve been calling myself a friend of Jesus since I was 4. Why am I not doing any better as a Christian?) I read my bible; I pray; I want to be better. Because it’s all about me, right?
A good friend gave me a book for Christmas. It suggested that if ‘transformation’ is the central purpose of my faith, it has skewed the way I relate to Jesus and His word.
I believed the purpose of the Bible was to help me.Jen Wilkin, Women of the Word
I could relate to what the author was saying; searching the Bible for inspiration and guidance, for purpose and transformation is what we Christians do, right? Actually, this idea is all backwards – the Bible is a book about God, about His character, about His purposes and plans, and it is only in a deep knowledge of God that we will be conformed to His likeness. While this might seem obvious, it is amazing how easy it is to take our eyes off Him and focus on ourselves. So, while bible reading, prayer and repentance are all good and necessary, our focus must be on learning about our Lord and not on learning about how to fix ourselves. A true and deep knowledge of God is what brings about true and deep transformation.
In Lamentations, the character of God is brilliantly revealed.
Thank You for Your steadfast love, O Lord. Thank You that it never ceases. Thank You that You are unfailingly and everlastingly merciful to a sinner like me. Each new day is a new day to contemplate Your faithfulness, O Lord. Please give me the grace to do so and, in doing so, become more like You. Amen.Shareen Liggins