New Every Morning

New Every Morning

When I awoke this morning and opened the window shades, I was met with a glorious sight. The sky was blue, the sunrise was creating a warm glow of yellow and salmon, and freshly-fallen snow was glittering on the trees. I was met with a new day, fresh and full of promise. Immediately the phrase, “the sun comes up, it’s a new day dawning,” came to mind and I was drawn to my piano to worship. What a privilege it is to be met by God in the morning – even before my first cup of coffee! Scriptures began to flow in my mind: “When I awake, I am still with you.” (Psalm 139:18b); “His compassions never fail; they are new every morning.” (Lamentations 3:22b-23a); “Praise the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits.” (Psalm 103:2)

My morning continued. I received a Facebook message, asking if I was available for a phone call. After the phone call, coffee & toast, I carried out my morning routine of Bible reading and journaling. I knew today was the day I needed to write this reflection and had something in mind. While vacuuming the kitchen floor, however, my thoughts were led in a different direction. I thought back to my February 1 reflection about how God brings people together to function as a body and thought, “What body part am I called to be?” We long to know how we fit into a larger whole. We find comfort in knowing our role. On the other hand, we don’t want to be pigeonholed, limited to doing the same thing. “If I’m part of a body, what does this look like?”

That’s when the Spirit gently whispered, “Don’t put yourself in a box. I have something new for you every morning.” More Scripture flowed into my remembrance: “Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.” (2 Corinthians 3:17b); “Keep in step with the Spirit.” (Galatians 5:25b); “I can do everything through him who gives me strength.” (Philippians 4:13) I began to realize that walking in obedience and living in community with the Body of Christ is not a life of being pigeonholed into one role. Rather, I have the privilege of asking God each day, “What body part do You need me to be?”

As the Body of Christ, we share one Spirit and are connected to one head, Christ, but all the other roles are interchangeable. On some occasions, I may be called to be the liver, filtering out what is toxic in the body. At other times, I may be the muscle, bearing another’s burden, or the tendon, keeping two members of the body connected. Perhaps at moments, I will be the ear, hearing a message that is needed for the body, or the feet, putting into action the message that was received.  At times, I may be the soul, the part of the body that absorbs life experiences and brings perspective.

What an adventure! This “keeping in step” life is not monotonous. I will never be the expert in any area, the definitive “kneecap” for the body at all times and in all circumstances. Rather, I remain humble before the Father, asking, “What would you have me be today?” and realizing that, through Him and His strength, I can do everything He asks of me. Even what is unfamiliar. His mercies are, indeed, new every morning. Great is His faithfulness.

Jen Vogel

Jen Vogel

Jen is the National Director for Alliance Women; she serves in a variety of ministry capacities, including the President's Cabinet for The Alliance. She enjoys reading, travel, and completing the New York Times crossword puzzle daily. Jen and her husband Doug attend Dover Avenue Alliance Church in Orange City, Iowa.

14 Responses to “New Every Morning”

  1. Dear Jen,
    Thanks so much for your comments on being many parts a different one depending on the day but Christ always the head. We just need to stop and listen to His voice. I am always blessed by your articles.
    Thank you for your faithful leadership of Great Commission Women.

  2. Thank you for this, Jen. I think we all go through this no matter our age (!) or our calling. Blessings on you today!

  3. Jen, first, I didn’t know you played the piano. What other talents do you have, my gifted friend?
    I’ve heard more than one sermon about each of us being a part of the body of Christ but have never stopped to ask what part I am. And I’ve never heard that I can be an ear one day and a foot the next. I will chew on that thought awhile, but it does show the creativity of God.
    Where I live now, I often see the same scene when I open the mini-blinds in the morning. You described it perfectly.
    Have a wonderful March! Spring is coming soon!

    • Gloria! So good to read your comments. Your obedient, Spirit-led life came up in conversation with my family on Saturday night. I feel so privileged to know you and call you my sister in Christ. I have seen you be the listening ear. I have seen you be the serving hands. I have seen you be the feet that brings good news. Keep on keeping in step with the Spirit. I will do the same. Will I see you at Alliance Council this year?

      • Hello, Jen! Thank you for your kind and encouraging words! I never expected to hear back from you, and I certainly didn’t think you’d write that you and your family spoke of me recently. I’m humbled by that. All glory goes to God.
        You caught me reading the current Alliance Life. At the end of Martha Renaud’s article she mentioned the Council in Orlando where I just visited last February and now have friends. I sighed that I wish I could go. Anita Ho and her husband David are going, so I’m sure you will see them. I have never attended Council except for the International Night years ago when Rochester, NY, was the site. I was living in NY then so it must have been in 1982. When they asked if anyone felt called to missions, only I and a young man went forward. A couple from Florida prayed for me. Wish I’d gotten their names. I never became a missionary in the traditional sense of the world, but my calling came true in a different way through our literature distribution ministry. I also became passionate about international workers, especially Alliance ones.
        I hope to be received into membership at my new church soon, but they have a 6-months waiting period. They have never had someone transfer membership, so I’m hoping they will make an exception in my case.
        Aloha!

        • Gloria, your story continually amazes me as it unfolds and is revealed through your testimony. May God continue to richly bless, exceedingly more than all you could ask or imagine.

          • Thank you Jen! Keeping in step with the Spirit and not being pigeonholed into one thing is such a freeing concept! The expectations of ourselves and others can make us prisoners of sorts, but in the end we answer to just one person. Thanks for your wisdom.

          • Great to hear from you, Robbin. Thanks for the encouragement. I appreciate your faithful service in the MidAmerica District. Enjoy the journey!

  4. Dear Jen, and I say dear with heartfelt sincerity. Thank you for your faithful ministry to Alliance women all over the world. I am grateful for the Lord’s work in and through you. May you be blessed and encouraged today as you walk with Him.

    grace and peace

    • Thank you, Marilyn. Doug & I were with Adam & his wife this weekend. During one conversation, we found ourselves reminiscing about Tres Cantos and rejoicing in the Kingdom impact God is accomplishing as you & Tim keep in step with the Spirit. Connecting Women for Kingdom Impact. This is my “why” as I continue forward each day, walking with Him. Thanks for the words of affirmation and encouragement.

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