Steve Wright LCPC, RDDP
Human beings are very committed to marking the beginning of events. The New Year always kicks off on January 1. The same holds true for the seasons, with each having their own start date.
Spring officially begins on March 20. It is the season of “new” throughout the natural world. Young plant life pokes its head up through the chilly ground while eggs hatch in nests and litters are born to wolves and foxes alike. Clearly, new in nature is seasonally dependent.
In the kingdom of God, new is never seasonal, it is daily. The Word tells us that the mercy of God is new every single morning to all of His children. It is interesting to consider the definition of mercy. As a noun it is defined as “compassion or forgiveness.” But, it is the remainder of the definition that proves so very valuable: “This compassion is shown toward someone whom it is within one’s power to punish or harm.”
God is the king of the universe, the Alpha and the Omega, He is the great I Am. What’s more, He is perfect — He cannot do wrong. And then there is humanity. Flawed, undoubtedly unable to go 24 hours without falling short. Every day we go astray and yet, does He punish us for our transgressions or withdraw His love, which would certainly be within His purview? No, quite the contrary. He simply responds with “You are forgiven–you remain the apple of my eye.”
As believers, we must thank the Lord repeatedly for this unmerited mercy. But, we must do more. The patients or clients within our care need to fully understand this component of God’s character. The adolescent who follows a healthy meal plan for weeks, then responds to a life crisis by bingeing and purging on pizza and ice cream. The young mother who after six months of sobriety, leaves the kids with a sitter, drives to the liquor store, then consumes a bottle of alcohol in the parking lot.
These fragile individuals need to understand the true nature of God. Whereas they may struggle to forgive themselves, God never will. If once, just once, they say, “God, please forgive me,” He will respond, “Done.” Because that is who He is.
Please ensure that each person in your care fully understands that with every sunrise comes abundant mercy, grace and love. Day after day after day, it arrives straight from the Lord their God, directly to them, His beloved children.
Steve Wright, M.A., is a therapist at Timberline Knolls Residential Treatment Center located in the Chicago area. He served for more than 25 years as a minister working in churches with youth, families, and as a senior pastor. As a counselor, he worked in residential treatment as a therapist, supervisor, coordinator, and program director first in the substance abuse field and then in the eating disorder discipline. Steve holds a bachelor’s degree in Biblical Studies from Central Bible College in Springfield, Missouri, as well as a Master of Arts in Teaching from Olivet University and a Master of Arts in Community Counseling from the Illinois School of Professional Psychology in Chicago.