I had a bad experience with sugar a while back. Some days aren’t bad, just severely sub-par, overwhelming, and emotional, and they don’t stop. They seep over into the next day, mistakes carry over, and clumsiness continues. Some mornings feel like an inevitable continuation of yesterday’s frustrations and failures.
A couple months ago I had a particularly bad day. I was in a horrible mood all day and the kids at my after-school program were not just reading “Where the Wild Things Are” but they were acting like the wild things. As fate would have it, that day I had planned to make cookies with them, so despite the craziness, we broke out the oats, cocoa, and sugar for no-bake cookies. The kitchen was a mess, my temper was short, and kids were crazy, but no one caught on fire, only one child cried, and apparently the cookies tasted good – a win considering the day I was having. The afternoon was finally over and I decided to leave a sink-full of dishes on account of the likelihood that I would burst into tears if the water got too hot or a bowl or cookie sheet looked at me the wrong way. I was dropping off a couple kids at their house, so I gathered the leftover sugar, cocoa, and oats and we traipsed through the building to turn off lights and lock doors.
Sometimes it’s just good for a day to be over. I took a deep breath when I got home. I knew I had a lot of dishes to wash the next morning, but as far as I was concerned it didn’t matter because that horrible day wouldn’t follow me into the next day. So I woke up the next morning and took another deep breath, grateful for a new day and a new attitude. I went to the building early to get the dishes done. I walked in and quickly realized that my horrible day was following me: There were small piles of white powder all over the floor. After deciding that the white powder was not actually drugs but instead sugar, I realized what happened – there had been a small hole in the bag of sugar that I carried through the whole building while turning lights out, thus depositing many small piles of white sugar on the carpet. I was horrified. My horrible, no-good, very bad day was truly carrying over into the next day.
Even on good days, the break of day has the potential to be overwhelming. How do I rejoice in the break of day on the days that I’m not really happy to see it or ready to do another day? However daunting a new day might be, it also offers a beautiful promise and reminder.
The good news of the break of day is that it’s new. Miss Stacy, from Anne of Green Gables, says “Tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it… yet.” I love the feeling of a new planner, a new year, a clean slate to start something. Isn’t that why we make New Years resolutions? There’s nothing particularly different about January 1 than December 31, but because our calendar marks it as a new year, to us it feels like a good time to make a change or start something new.
The good news of the break of day is that it’s new. That’s the good news of the God I serve as well. He renews, brings new life, and restores. Sometimes I don’t want another day. I curse the break of day because I would rather the dark. But the day is new – at least it’s not the old day, the old me. Newness is kin to hope.
I stayed the night at a friends house in the country a couple months ago. The next morning was cold, and frost covered the countryside. It was remarkably quiet, still, fresh, and fragile. It felt as though the world had just been born and I was the only one witnessing it. A brand new beginning. The freshness and newness filled me with a sense of hope for the day. And there is hope for me because in Christ I am a new creation.
Bad days might still follow me into the next day and sugar piles might still plague me. But mornings are fresh and clean and serve as a daily reminder of what Christ has made me – clean, without blemish – and of what He offers day after day, moment after moment – a fresh start, new life. Bottom line I want cleanness and newness. And each morning, if I choose to remember it as such, is a reminder of that cleanness and newness that is offered afresh.
How do I rejoice in the morning? Because it is a reminder that his mercies are new. That I never exhaust the supply of his grace. That he will complete his work in me. That though my sins were as scarlet, they are now white as snow (Isaiah 1:18). There may still be bad days, but grace is deep and his arms are strong, and everything he offers to me is available with the same depth and abundance every single day.
“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