O to grace how great a debtor daily I’m constrained to be!
As a writer, the best way for me to communicate is through the written word. Several years ago, I discovered that this was also true for my prayer life. I realized that I am most focused when I have a pen in my hand. The summer before my freshman year of high school, I began keeping a prayer journal. Over the past seven years, I have filled page after page with conversations I’ve had with my Savior. Sometimes, during my quiet moments with the Lord, I like to flip back through old journals to see what I was praying a year or two ago and be reminded of His faithfulness. After I started my prayer last Friday, I stopped to turn the pages of an old journal back in time to two years prior. On August 22, 2012, I asked the Lord to show me ways I could serve Him during the next months at school. I asked Him to give me opportunities to serve others throughout the day. At the end of the entry, a lump caught in my throat. My 19-year-old hand scrawled in black the same petition my 21-year-old hand had just penned in pink. “Fill me up to overflowing, today, Father, so that I may spill over onto those around me.”
Why does this matter? Why would I care so deeply about a recycled sentence? Why is this significant?
It isn’t really. It’s not anything profound or wise or new. It’s a prayer that I know millions have prayed repetitively throughout their lives. And the truth is if you were to flip back through my prayer journals, you would read that line over and over again throughout their pages. It is a daily prayer. But in that moment, I was reminded that, out of all the prayers and supplications I have uttered and written over the course of my life, this is the one that is the most important. My very life depends on the fulfillment of this request. My heart was stirred when I remembered that the Lord does not give me grace in bulk and ask that I budget it until He gives me another installment. His mercies are new every day. He gives me fresh manna for every morning. I never have to survive on stale leftovers of grace. He is faithful to provide for His children on a day-to-day, moment-by-moment basis. And even on the days when I don’t take the time to ask for His fresh supply of mercy, He gives it to me anyway. What I needed two years ago is exactly the thing I need today. Two years from now, I will be praying for the same thing; I will never stop needing a fresh flow of His love. Because here’s the truth: my love will never be sufficient. It will never last long enough or reach deep enough. It will always come up short. If I am going to love the world like I have been called to do, it has to be His love. It has to be Him.
Streams of mercy, never ceasing, call for songs of loudest praise.