This morning I was listening to this talk by Ravi Zacharias, in which he recites a poem. I was immediately struck by the simplicity of its words in the midst of such an intellectual presentation. They were a balm to my burdened heart — a simple salve soothing a much more complex wound.
“He came to my desk with a quivering lip,
The lesson was done.
‘Have you a new sheet for me, dear teacher?
I’ve spoiled this one.’
I took his sheet, all soiled and blotted,
And gave him a new one all unspotted,
And to his tired heart I cried.
‘Do better now, my child.’
I went to the throne with a troubled heart,
The day was done.
‘Have a new day for me, dear Master?
I’ve spoiled this one.’
He took my day, all soiled and blotted,
And gave a new one all unspotted.
And to my tired heart He cried,
‘Do better now, my child.'”
(A New Leaf by Kathleen Wheeler)
My mind went immediately to Lamentations 3:22-23:
The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.
And then to a recent night in my home . . .
I lay in bed, my 13-year old son curled up beside me, sobbing. As I prayed aloud over him, his trembling brokenness cried out for this kind of do-over. I had also had a trying day — too much to do, too many fires to put out, a mild conflict with a friend, and some major conflicts with this love of mine.
It had been a day where everything went wrong.
It had been a week where everything went wrong. Okay, so maybe not everything. But many things.
It had been a week that brought me to a point of extreme anger and weariness. And Ben to a point of emotional exhaustion. It felt like we were just doing life all wrong.
I felt like a failure as a mom.
He felt like a failure as a son.
I frequently quote this verse from Lamentations to Ben (and to myself), but today, after hearing Ravi quote this sweet poem, it took on new meaning for me. It is good to know that Jesus gives us new mercies every morning, and that we can do the same for each other. He does take our soiled and blotted day and trades it for a brand new, unspotted one each time the sun rises. But what is even more lovely to realize is that he does not leave us alone to try again —
Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert. (Isaiah 43:19)And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. (Philippians 1:6)Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9)
We can fall asleep every night, knowing that in the morning, we do indeed have the opportunity for a do-over. But even more than that, we can rest in the knowledge that God is a faithful Father who never leaves us as He is whispering to our hearts, “Do better now, my child.”
If you found this letter encouraging, you might also be blessed by Dear Homeschool Mom: Are You Weary?