So many people I know love the movie “Groundhog Day”. It’s a gentle comedy situated around a crass weatherman (played by Bill Murray) who has to go to Punxsutauney to report on the groundhog and whether or not he sees his shadow. As the sequence of events unfolds, this man and one of the female members of the news crew, played by the beautiful Andie McDowell, begin a rather unusual adventure of friendship and romance.
Every morning that Phil wakes up, the same day has started over. Groundhog day looms on the horizon again and again as his alarm buzzes. The only difference in each of the days same sequence of events, are the ones he changes by his choices. Gradually you see him realize that he can choose, that what he did yesterday causing anger or unfriendship or disgust, he can change by his responses and therefore his circumstances for the good. At first his better choices are still fueled by innate selfishness and a desire to have the girl through manipulation. But then, you see him realize that the choices are actually good and the new motives are far better than the self serving ones he originally focussed on. At the end…well if you haven’t seen it, I won’t give it away. But the good fruit of his wiser choices prevail.
And the parable within is more than I had originally thought. The Bible verse that says “His mercies are new every morning…” (Lamentations 3:22-23) is startling when you consider the implications. Ann Voskamp wrote about this on her Holy Experience blog, that each new day is like a New Year, a clean slate, a place to start afresh with His new mercy.
Doesn’t that boggle the mind. It does mine! Fresh chances, hope, patience of the Eternal bestowed on me, every morning! Try again, press on, don’t look to what’s behind, press toward the mark of the high calling of Christ. (Philippians 3:13-14)
He is a faithful, loving Father. Some have not had the benefit of a patient or kind earthly father and so have a distorted view of who Father God must be. I’m sure we all do to some extent, because none of us are ever that patient or kind or good.
But He is. That’s just it. All those fruits of the Spirit that he wants us to bear as He indwells us, are just His attributes. He shows us who He is, by those fruits of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self control. (Galatians 5:22-23)
When I hear those things, I feel at rest and secure in His arms. He is not overcome, being fed up with how we fall. Although I know from the Bible that Jesus at times did feel annoyed with the disciples as they floundered in their faith (“O unbelieving generation, how long shall I stay with you, how long shall I put up with you. Bring him to me…” Mark 9:19NIV). Yet He is not overcome. His anger lasts but a moment.... but joy comes IN THE MORNING! (Psalm 30:5)
O’ I can’t wait to meet Him. To lay it all down and say Thank You for leading me gently and being patient while I learned of You, for being meek and humble of heart, so that I could find rest for my soul.
(I have paraphrased scripture verses to fit the context of this entry, however, the references are accurate and can be understood in any English version of the Bible)