New Mercies I See

Last week, my husband had to be whisked off to the emergency room at 4am and spent a few days in the hospital. He is on the mend now and all will be well. Any friends who wish to privately inquire about the details of that episode are welcome to do so, however, the most important thing about all of it was how God was providing for us in the midst of total chaos.

I’m thankful that my mother in law lives nearby enough to have met him at the hospital so I could stay home with the kids. She and I swapped places once the kids were awake, and by some providence I had the presence of mind to grab my Bible before leaving for the ER. Once I was at Jack’s bedside and things had quieted down I opened up to where I had left off in Exodus, just after the Israelites were delivered from the Egyptians at the Red Sea:

They set out from Elim, and all the congregation of the people of Israel came to the wilderness of Sin, which is in between Elim and Sinai, on the fifteenth day of the second month after they had departed from the land of Egypt. And the whole congregation of the people of Israel grumbled against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness, and the people of Israel said to them, “Would that we had died by the hand of the LORD in the land of Egypt, when we sat by meat pots and ate bread to the full, for you have brought us out into this wilderness to kill this whole assembly with hunger.” – Exodus 16:1-3

Every time I read Exodus I am totally blown away by the Israelites’ ability to not know who God is after everything He did for them. I’d like to think that if I had been a witness to the plagues of Egypt, or the pillar of fire, or if I’d crossed the Red Sea on dry land, I would be faithful. But in reality, even if I’m not a witness to things quite so fantastic as what God did in Exodus, I am a witness to the very many things He’s done in my life and I frequently forget them. And these things aren’t small, either. Where I went to college, the friends I made, the church I called home in DC, and how I met my husband were really more like divine appointments than chance, I think.

But anyway.

So I was sitting in the ER reading this account and found myself thinking how ridiculous it was that God had literally delivered them from slavery into freedom and yet the Israelites were longing to go back to slavery. It seems ridiculous at first. But, then, how frequently is this me? How often do I wish to return to the fake comfort of sin because I think it’s easier? A lot, really.

But what struck me on that day in particular was the ungrateful attitude of the Israelites. I thought right at the outset, “I don’t want this to be me.” And I prayed. I thanked God for how he had protected Jack from the beginning of that morning. He could have been seriously injured, but he wasn’t. I thanked God that the kids miraculously slept through all of the commotion at 4am. I thanked God for my mother in law. I thanked God for all of the friends who were praying for us.

Over the next few hours and days as we muddled through, the refrain of “Great is Thy Faithfulness” started to echo in my thoughts. With every meal delivered by our church family, or every expected temper tantrum from our toddler that didn’t happen, I saw new mercies. All of our needs were met in Jesus — sometimes physical, but always spiritual, and most importantly always our need of rescue.

The last week has not been easy, but it has been good. God is so faithful. And He is so good to show us how He works in the midst of our trials. I am so thankful!

“Great is thy faithfulness!
Great is thy faithfulness!
Morning by morning, new mercies I see;
All I have needed, thy hand hath provided,
Great is thy faithfulness, Lord unto me!”

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