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"Certainly" by Ellen Coppley

Certainly the faithful love of the Lord hasn’t ended; certainly God’s compassion isn’t through! They are renewed every morning. Great is your faithfulness. I think: The Lord is my portion! Therefore, I’ll wait for him. - Lamentations 3:22-24 (CEB)

I wake up almost every morning at 6 o’clock. This hasn’t always been the case, but for the last two years, I have felt a special love for the early morning hours. I don’t want to miss the sacred moments of the morning. I love to be awake before the noises of the day. I like to smell morning air and listen to birds as they begin to chirp. I like to listen to the coffee dripping into the pot. I love to hear multiple “good mornings” from voices on television, over the phone, loved ones or guests in my home.

Most of all, I long to see the sunrise.

Every morning feels brand new. I love that.

Throughout the day, a thousand little moments have the power to determine each day as good or bad. I encounter these moments with willingness to experience emotions or disappointment. It has been a gift to me in these times.

This verse from Lamentations is well known. It is in hymns, devotionals, scriptural artwork. It is easy to quote and remember. Morning by morning, new mercies I see. Great is thy faithfulness.

I feel that, don’t you?

Yet, the CEB translation of this scripture stands out to me in a special way during this time. It is the use of the word “certainly” that reminds me of God’s faithful, steadfast love.

Beside the morning, my favorite time of day comes about an hour before sunset. The golden hour. I try to leave work and be in my car during this time. I’m fortunate to have a “moon roof” which is a very large sunroof that lets the glorious golden setting sunlight into my car perfectly during certain times of day.

In the golden hour, I don’t even mind the traffic on Highway 68. Can you believe that?

I will stop, happily, at every light to enjoy the sun in my rearview mirror.

On a typical day, I am watching planes land during this time. I live near the airport and see planes fly in from all over the country on a daily basis. Fed Ex, Commercial Airlines, Private Planes. The sky over my house is typically buzzing with people coming and going.

Lately, it has been quiet.

Perhaps the strangest quiet times come at my least favorite hours of the day - sunset. I live for the golden hour and feel a certain sadness each day when the sun suddenly fades to darkness. It is the most unexpected certainty of each day.

From there, the night is long. I adjust (with lamps, and string lights, and television background noise) to the evening but my heart is happiest under the bright, new sky. It feels like we are watching humanity encounter a sudden sunset. No one expected this darkness. We were in a golden hour - the dusk was always coming. We just didn’t know it. How unusual that we are suddenly in such stark, clear dark skies? The sun will rise again. It always does.

In the meantime, take a moment to appreciate the moon. God’s faithfulness is literally lighting up the sky.

In the morning, God will certainly remain faithful. The birds will chirp again. The coffee will drip. We will appreciate the little things. We will emerge from this, renewed. I’ll wait for the Lord to reveal new mercies yet again.

Holy God, You are the Lord of the morning. We feel your blessings each morning, renewed.
Help us to see your light in the darkness. Give us a spirit of perseverance through this season of uncertainty. Let the light shine through us and in us. Continue to call us and guide us through the dark corners.
Comfort us and unite us in your holy steadfast love. We need you.
We thank you for the times that we didn’t appreciate your goodness. We thank you for this opportunity where your goodness is clearer than ever. We thank you for your faithful love.
We will wait for you, Lord.
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