“Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassion never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” Lamentations 3:22-23 NIV
This scripture has been in my life for a long time. I remember singing a variation of this verse in my 5th grade sunday school class. It went like this: “The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, his mercies never come to an end. They are new every morning, new every morning, great is thy faithfulness, O God. Great is thy faithfulness.” There are some mornings where it is difficult to feel like I am on top of the world and leaning into the challenges that I face. Like this morning. And this childish, sunday school song lilts through my thoughts and brings me back to the fact that God loves me, His capacity to meet me with mercy is limitless and every morning is renewed by his faithfulness to do both of those things.
Let me tell you a story. I have actually been the Executive Pastor at GFC twice. The first time lasted for two years before we went shifted into a group of executive pastors supporting our lead pastor. When I was named the Senior Executive Pastor for the 2nd time around, I was prepared and ready to fulfill that role. Not so much the first time. I was really struggling as we were trying to implement the new model with a young church and I was growing a lot at the time. I had a wonderful coach who worked with business executives around the country for a living. She would meet with me and give me great wisdom on best practices and communication styles. (I use a lot of her techniques today!) After a month of my new role, she met with me one day. She said, “Let me tell you how you feel right now.” I was struggling, my confidence was pretty low and I was just raw with hurt. She proceeded, “You feel like you are moving through concrete, everything you do is being measured by others and second guessed, you feel inadequate, you don’t feel ready for this, you are looking for answers you should already know and if I said, ‘Boo’ right now, you would begin to cry.'” And, I did. I began sobbing for the first time since taking the new role and let out a huge burden off my shoulders. When I was done, she asked, “So, what are you afraid of?” I said, “I am afraid I am going to fail, and in doing so, hurt the church.” Her words to this day have been one of my favorite backbones when I am challenged. She said, “Do you think the God who created the heavens and the earth, the stars and the seas, the mountains and the deserts and all the animals, including the duck-billed platypus…is going to let you fail? He isn’t going to let you fail, he created you to succeed.” That day, I learned that no matter what, God isn’t going to let me fail. It was a huge step of growth in my leadership in the church and in my own life. You may ask “But didn’t you fail – didn’t they change the position by adding a group into your responsibilities? You couldn’t do it on your own, so they went another way?” No, I didn’t fail. I fulfilled my role that season and the team approach was very effective for another season. Presently, I oversee that team but they are so talented that I find myself working to empower them rather loading them up with direction. In the end, God’s purposes are being fulfilled.
So, how are you doing today? Because my God is limitless in His love and mercy for you and proved it by creating the duck billed playtpus. Maybe this is the day you forgive yourself for where you fell short. You start to realize that life isn’t about hitting home runs every time at the plate but getting in the game every day. This is the day that you let God’s love and mercy wash away the burdens you put on yourself. And this is the day you realize that you are way more important than the platypus, so God isn’t going to let you fail!