Faith Issues and Facial Tissues

Mike WardDid anybody else notice how that wild, unpredictable Kansas weather decided to rear its ugly head last week? If the “batten-down-the-hatches” style winds and enormous ash-raining grass fire didn’t get your attention, then certainly the “I’m-dreaming-of-a-white-EASTER” did! And I thought Texas’ weather had an identity crisis! Well just as erratic as the weather, so my allergies have been – especially with that wind! Sometimes I have days where I think I’m allergic to just about anything carbon-based (that’d be the entire planet, by the way). It’s on those days that I don’t go through just a few tissues here and there. No, I go through entire boxes of Puffs!

Recently I had one of those days. And as I was pulling the six-hundredth tissue from the box, I noticed something: each time I pulled a tissue out of the box, there was another one left poking up, ready for my next sneeze. Naturally, moments later, I needed another tissue. And sure enough, yet another tissue was waiting for me upon pulling one out of the box!

This got me thinking – those tissues, in a way, are a lot like God’s mercy and compassion toward us. You see, whenever I am bombarded by my allergies, I need one tissue after the next. Similarly, whenever sin creeps into my life and interrupts my relationship with God, I need His mercy and forgiveness. And here’s the comforting part: just like I find a new tissue waiting on me after pulling one from the box, I always find God still loving me, even when I’ve messed up.

I like Lamentations 3:22-24, but it’s important to keep it in its proper context. Jeremiah is lamenting over the destruction of Jerusalem, but in doing so he confesses the people’s sinfulness and appeals to God for mercy. The truths he writes, however, speak into our lives today: “The Lord’s lovingkindness indeed never ceases, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness. ‘The Lord is my portion,’ says my soul, ‘Therefore I have hope in Him’” (emphasis added).

Unlike a box of Puffs that will eventually run out, God’s mercy, compassion, and love for His children never ceases! Every day presents us with a new opportunity to discover and experience more of God’s love. And just like Jeremiah had “hope” in God (not a wishful thought, but a confident expectation in the Lord), we today place our hope in the gospel of Christ. Paul writes about this in Colossians 1:21-23; I encourage you to read that passage today. And the next time you find yourself pulling tissue after tissue from the box, let it remind you of God’s unfailing, never-ceasing mercy and love.