Friday, January 02, 2009

He Said -- She Said January 2, 2009

Do Overs -- He Said, Eddie Jones

“Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, "The LORD is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.’” Lamentations 3:22-24

“Well… I guess Christmas is over,” my son said as I guided our car into the driveway.

The front porch sparkled with lights embedded in green plastic garland draped across the railing. Through the glass window of the door Christmas bulbs blazed red, yellow, blue and green. An octagonal stop sign on the front steps said: DON’T FORGET TO STOP, SANTA. Our family was home for the Holydays and Christmas day was almost done.

I parked the car and turned to my son. “It’s not over, yet. As long as the tree is up, it’s still Christmas.”

I dread the dreariness of the New Year with its cold, gray days. Christmas is about laughter, fellowship and snacks that make me fat. New Year’s is filled with remorse, because it’s a time of reflection and self-evaluation and I seldom like what I see. Day one of a new year only serves to remind me that I’m still the same flawed father and husband I was the year before. My resolve to become a better person fades as the grind of life’s pressures shapes me into the grumpy old man I’m destined to become.

“Forgive me, Father, for I have sinned,” read the entry in last year’s prayer journal. Beneath my confession was a list of grievances I had against myself. Petty things like, pride, lust, arrogance, discouragement and anger.

But today is a new year, a different day than the one before. “Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift. That's why they call it ‘Present.’” I forget who said this. I think I heard it in a chic-flick. But it’s a clever way of restating what the writer of Lamentations said when he wrote; “God’s love is new every morning. His faithfulness is great. His portion sufficient.” My resolve to be a better father and husband may fail, but God’s compassions and encouragement never will.

So today I pray; “Lord, change me in ways I can’t. Help me to love my wife the way you love her, to be more aware of your presence in my life and to have the compassion of Christ. May my thoughts be pure and my purpose in you secure.”

No, son Christmas isn’t over. It is just beginning, as it begins every day, for those who truly believe in Christ.

Song Sung Blue -- She Said
Song Sung Blue -- She Said, Cindy Sproles

"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." Lamentations 3:22-23

During the 70’s Neil Diamond walked on stage before thousands of fans, acoustic guitar in hand, and began to sing, “Song sung blue, everybody knows one…..every garden grows one….me and you are subject to the blues…” The words were just a few phrases but they reminded us that we all suffer sadness from time to time.

I’ve walked onto the porch in the middle of the night, a chill sweeping over me, and wondered if the incredible loneliness I felt was normal. Wondered why God had stepped away from me, taking his warmth, fellowship and sense of acceptance from me.

Where are you? Why have you walked away when I need you the most? But my laments fall on deaf ears.

Jeremiah wept for Israel. His song was blue, as well. In his sadness, he poured out his loneliness and brokenness, complaining that God had turned His back on the children He loved. Jeremiah knew that though his cries were not being acknowledged, God still heard them and he found comfort in the promise that the Lord’s love was so great, so massive, so undeniably strong that His compassion would never fail. There would be a new hope each day.

I watched as the clock ticked past midnight, the hands sweeping away another year. The metronome sound of the clock’s gears reminded me that God is constant. He never leaves me, although sometimes He allows me to think. He lets me long for Him. He waits for me to sort through my sin and seek repentance. God may not acknowledge my cries, but He definitely hears them. His proof is in the promise of a new morning.

When you hear a song sung blue welling up within your soul, sing the praises in His Psalms and meditate on the promises in His Word.

Eddie Jones and Cindy Sproles are friends and co-founders of They co-write the popular He Said, She Said devotions and host BlogtalkRadio's Christian Devotions Speak UP! along with Marianne Jordan.