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The Bee Hive

Because of the LORD'S faithful love, we do not perish, for His mercies never end. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness!

I can't tell you how many times I've read this verse and it has brought so much comfort in moments of failure and discouragement. But if I am honest, it only has brought me as much comfort as my faith will allow. Even as I read it once more and try desperately to allow the words to take up permanent root in my heart, I know parts of me don't fully grasp the concept. New mercies and faithful love, ok sure. But that ‘’really forgives and forgets’’ thing? That just seems too foreign to wrap my human mind around. It's not displayed by many a mere human. And as much as I want to believe God really doesn't look at the sum of my mistakes and turn away in disgust, it's hard to imagine He could really forget it all and wash it away. Especially because I remember it all too vividly, as the creator of the world, surely, He remembers it too.

As I mull over these truths and my lack of understanding of God's greatness, my mind shifts to my job. Last week I started as a kindergarten aide at the Christian School my sons attend. On the first day of school, Mrs. Hutchinson explained many different rules for her classroom and the expectations there in. For "discipline" there is a warning and consequence system called "the bee hive". Each day the children get 3 warnings based on various unacceptable behavior. After the 3rd warning their names (bees) go on the hive and they get some time taken away at recess. But, not to fear, when the children come in the following day the point system starts fresh. Their names are off the hive, they are greeted with joy and love as if nothing had happened the day before and they are given a fresh start back at 1. It’s a new day with new mercies. And as I compare this system to the passage above, and my lack of assurance that I am truly redeemed and my mistakes of yesterday long forgotten, I can't help but feel like in my unbelief I often walk around my life like my name is still on Gods "bee hive" when the truth is He has removed it once and for all by the blood of His Son.

God has declared me guiltless. He remembers my sins no more and each day He has promised me a fresh start. Yet I slink into my kindergarten class, head hung low trying to blend in. Wearing a shameful sweater from yesterday that reeks of what I have done. Much like Mrs. Hutchinson, God greets me with a welcoming smile and hello and gets the day going. All the while I sit there hoping no one will notice my name on the wall. Praying no one will remember what I did the day before. I don't truly believe I have been given a fresh start. I still live as if my name never leaves the "naughty board" and I rest under the heavy label of guilt that Satan gladly hands to me. This idea keeps me from being the effective Christian God has called me to be. This thought process prevents me from living out the purpose God has placed on my life as my mind is wrapped in my past instead of the future of hope promised to me in Jesus.

But because of the LORD's faithful love we do not perish...

If not for God's faithful love gently calling me back to Him over and over, I would have perished time and again under the weight of the oppression from the enemy. All his lies about who I am and who I will always be have tried relentlessly to keep me chained to a name that God has not given me. Despite the enemies’ best efforts, God has made a very clear and distinct promise of preservation over my life as His daughter. His best for me is not to walk around forever full of fear of my name being tarnished and never leaving "the hive". No, just like in Mrs. Hutchinson's class I am given new mercies each morning, far beyond what I could ever deserve that bear no merit on how terrible I may have behaved the 7 days before or how likely I may be to repeat those same offenses today. In the same hand, God's faithfulness to continues to be steady, just and true, promise to never run out. Somehow as I make this comparison between this kindergarten technique and my Father’s compassionate heart, the realities of the promises in this passage become just a little clearer. I sense the Lord asking me why I am still walking around like my name is on "the hive" when I know the truth is He has washed my slate clean once and for all. I never again have to dwell on, or live under, the shame of my poor choices or the fear of the enemy's lies attacking who God says I am. I have been given a fresh and promising start under a new name given to me by the King of Kings. And what God does and says, cannot be undone.

Just like each child in Mrs. Hutchison’s classroom has a choice to believe in faith they are forgiven and given a fresh start each morning, I too get to choose to continue to live my life like my name is up on the board for the world to see, or choose to believe what my Father has done for me is final and I am free. I can walk with my head held high because my God is faithful to deliver me from all my fears, all my lack, and forgive all my sins. ALL of them, and remember them no more. I can bound into the kindergarten classroom of life with joy and freedom as I great the new day of abundant mercies He has given me. I am no less than any other student in the kingdom. I am fully known and outrageously loved! Living out of that abundance silences all the taunts of the enemy and allows me to boldly press forward in the calling God has on my life to proclaim His glory to all who will hear and believe He is who He says He is. And when I really let this reality sink deep into my spirit, my heart is overcome by the tender love of my Father and with confidence I can declare…

GREAT is His faithfulness to me!

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