Sunday, March 21, 2010

Lamentations: Hope in the midst of sorrow

I just read Lamentations. I think this may have been the first time ever. Beyond all the symbolism and the poetic language, I think to myself, haven't we all felt like this at some point?

The author says, "My splendor is gone and all that I had hoped from the Lord." (3:18)

Yeah. Everything good has faded away, and along with it any hope I had of life getting better.

In the midst of this, the author remembers two things. The first thing doesn't help much. He remembers the hopelessness of his situation, and he is consumed by bitterness and depression.

And then he remembers something else that gives him hope.
"Because of the Lord's great love, we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning . . ."

He remembers that God is good to those who hope in him, who seek him, who wait for him.

And I think we've all been there.
The thing we hoped for is lost. We feel abandoned by God, whether because of our own brokenness or the brokenness of the world. And we get lost in your sorrow--until we remember that God hasn't completely destroyed us, and he loves us, and he is faithful.

We give God glory, because at our core, we know he is God. We say, "You, O Lord, reign forever . . ."

And then the glimmer of hope is lost again, and we say, like the author in the last few verses of chapter five: "Why do you always forget us? Why do you forsake us for so long? Restore us, God, so that we may return--unless you have utterly rejected us."

There will be days like this. When hope is lost, when we cling to God's truth, hoping for hope. But God is still good.

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