A Jet Ski There For You When You Fall Off
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I happened to be there when my friend, Rick, tried a Jet Ski for the first time. Now, you may have seen those little water machines that look kind of like a baby snowmobile, and they're a lot of fun. But it takes some skill to stay balanced on them as they start to take off across the water. Rick actually handled it pretty well for a while; he's a good water skier, and that didn't surprise me. But it was inevitable that he would eventually fall off. I expected that when he hit the water, that Jet Ski was going to take right off without him across the water. I wondered how he'd ever get back! It didn't happen. That Jet Ski is designed to start going in a circle near you, and it did, and it circles until you can get back on. Well, that's exactly what you need when you fall off.
Our word for today from the Word of God comes from Lamentations chapter 3, and we're going to begin reading at verse 19. Now, you probably were not discussing Lamentations over breakfast this morning, but Jeremiah wrote it. It follows his long book that's named after him. Of course, he's a great man of God, but he's a great man of God who knew about failure too. In fact, here's what he says; maybe some things you and I can relate to. I'm sure we can. Beginning with Lamentations 3:19 and then ending with a phrase that you may have sung in church many times.
"I remember my affliction in my wandering..." Can you relate to that? He says, "the bitterness and the gall. I well remember them." See, his mind is playing back failures. "My soul is downcast within me," he says. "This really gets me depressed," in other words. "Yet I call this to mind, and therefore I have hope." Okay, the sun's coming up now. "Because of the Lord's great love, we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning. Great is your faithfulness."
Jeremiah is reflecting on times when even the most committed of us believers fall off, so to speak, as my friend fell off that Jet Ski. And he captures the feelings very well. "When I fail my Lord I feel discouraged, I feel depressed, sometimes like, 'What's the use?' But every new day, every morning His compassions do not fail, His mercies are new every morning. Every new day I find my Lord circling near me to pick me up even though I fell off."
The prophet Zephaniah says, "Every new day, He does not fail." Yes, when I looked at how that Jet Ski operated, I couldn't help but think of how our Lord deals with us. It could be that even now you're feeling crushed by a feeling of failure; you've let your Lord down, you've let yourself down, and you've let other people down. And maybe you feel like you're just going to stay down. In fact, at times like these your feelings are telling you, "Hey, you fell off! And you know what? The Lord's going on without you, buddy!" Wrong. "His mercies are new every morning."
Jeremiah said, "My hope is every new day is a new start. Great (He says of God) is Your faithfulness." Not great is our faithfulness; great is Your faithfulness, Lord. So, no failure needs to last more than 24 hours. Because there's a new day, and there's new mercies.
Today your Lord is there, circling faithfully. See, He stopped when you fell off, and He's been lovingly waiting to pick you up and to get you off to a fresh new start.
© (c) Ronald P. Hutchcraft
Distributed by Ron Hutchcraft Ministries, Inc.