Saturday, January 26, 2013


If you're good friends with me, then you know I love my Karen Kingsbury novels. I love them so much, in fact, that I own every one of her Baxter family books (twenty-three in all) and re-read them frequently. Throughout this series, KK (as her true fans call her) sticks with several main themes. One is of redemption, one is of God's plan (as quoted in Jeremiah 29:11), and one is of God's faithfulness (as sung in the famous hymn).

Redemption seems pretty obvious for Christian fiction. The whole purpose of Jesus' death and resurrection was to redeem, yes? And I also am on board with the Jeremiah verse. One of my old youth leaders wrote that out for me years ago; it's a great truth to cling to. However, I never understood what made "Great is Thy Faithfulness" such a mainstay in these books. Of course, God is faithful. But do the characters have to sing it in every bout of sadness? They sing it when their mom dies. Ashley sings it when her newborn child dies.

Great is Thy faithfulness, O God my Father;
There is no shadow of turning with Thee,
Thou changest not, Thy compassions they fail not,
As Thou hast been,Thou forever wilt be.

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!

I mean, at first glance, the words seem like the song to sing from a  happy place. Lord, thank You for being so faithful! Your compassion is amazing! Your mercies are always new! This is a song of rejoicing, correct?

Tonight, my grandpa died. He was my last remaining biological grandparent. He's my daddy's dad, and he's a minister. He loved Jesus, especially in these last few decades. And tonight, as I sat in his house as my step-grandma rubbed his arm for the last time, I could only think, "God is so faithful."

This is a sad occasion. Death always is. Especially when it's yet another death for my step-grandma to endure, since she just lost her only daughter last month. But I'm amazed that this song expresses the sentiment of my heart so purely tonight. 

I've learned over the past thirty years that people fail. There's not one human that I can depend on one hundred percent. My parents aren't perfect. My husband and daughter can't fulfill all my needs. My friends...well, don't even get me started on the lessons I've had to learn the hard way there. But overall, people sin, people leave, people die, people let us down. My grandpa was a man who sinned. I've heard stories about the man he was thirty, forty, fifty years ago, and let's just say that Jesus performed miraculous acts of redemption on his life. God had a plan, and God was faithful through it. 

God doesn't let us down. He can't. It's not in His nature to. He is faithfulness. He is steadfastness. He is constant. He is unchanging. 

That's what I embrace with this hymn. Not the new mercies each morning, which are undeserved blessings, but the fact that God cannot let us down. He is faithful to stay. 

No comments:

Post a Comment