Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed,
Because His compassions fail not.
They are new every morning;
Great is Your faithfulness.
 “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul,
“Therefore I hope in Him!”
Lamentations 3:22-24

As I look out across the drought thirsty plains, I am reminded of this verse and God’s mercy that has been extended to me. Despite the parched earth, I see abundance.  Land, a home, a car, and material possessions to numerous to count are mine to claim – gifts in abundance given to the unworthy – and my heart overflows with the magnitude of blessings that are mine. There are a multitude of blessings that I take for granted; blessings that would not be mine had I been born in another time and place and I am over-whelmed with how much I have to be thankful.

My gaze turns towards the sunset that fills the horizon with color and the vast view of the horizon and I consider how blessed I am to enjoy its beauty. In my backyard there is even more for my eyes to behold with wonder – flowers, gardens, and trees that fill my world with beauty. Though my yard has been severely damaged by the drought, evidence of the drought is not readily apparent in my garden and around our trees, as we have conserved our water for established trees, berry bushes, vines, and plants that will provide food for our table.

All of this abundance reminds me both of God’s goodness to me and His endless mercy towards me. But as I look back on my life, I see evidence of God’s mercy not only in the things that we might claim as blessings, but also in the struggles and trials through which the Lord has mercifully brought me, for it was in the valleys of life that my prideful heart looked up and beheld the glory of God.  It was in those dark storms when I couldn’t see, and in those times when my knees felt bruised and bloody because I could not stand, that my hardened heart turned to the only one who is able to save. It was through trials that I learned that I had nothing of my own on which to stand – no courage, no strength, no hope – and that even what little faith that is mine is given to me as a precious gift.

And so as I look out over dry pastures and empty fields, I am touched by God’s mercy; His mercy that flows to us in both the good and the bad.  I am reminded that our source is not in the water that only nourishes body and land for a short time before it thirsts again, but our source is found in streams of living water and from that supply I am convinced that neither life nor death, neither angels or demons, neither the present nor the future nor any power, neither height nor depth nor anything else in all creation can separate us.