Go ahead and break out the Bible because I’m pretty much going from there tonight. Read through Lamentations 3. I don’t know about you, but this is easily my favorite chapter in the entire Bible. Which is weird, I know. Judge me if you must, but if you do, you have to read my logic.
As a history major, I love that this (all of Lamentations) is Jeremiahs writing on the fall of Jerusalem. This was such a significant point in the life of the city, the Jews, and of Christianity. So to me, that is of note. What I also find interesting, is that Chapter 3 is the exact middle of the book. The entirety of the book is a lament (hence the title, talk about clever). To lament is a “passionate expression of grief” or to “mourn”. So this is sad. Think about it, Jeremiah has just watched his city be destroyed brick by brick. There is nothing left. So it is understandable, and even justified that he be angry with God. But, almost in the middle of Chapter 3, you find hope. If you look at verses 21 – 24, we see a glimmer of hope in what seems to be a desolate situation for Jeremiah. Now do you see why I love it?
Jeremiah says “Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.”
In the middle of death, destruction, despair, hopelessness, Jeremiah is reminded of God’s love and how unfailing that love is.
In verses 31 – 33 he says: “For no one is cast off by the Lord forever. Though he brings grief, he will show compassion, so great is his unfailing love. For he does not willingly bring affliction or grief to anyone.”
He knows that sometimes bad things are going to happen, but he also knows that God’s love is unfailing. How beautiful is that?
Now, no matter how dramatic I am sometimes, I know good and well that my life is no where the same level as the destruction of Jerusalem. I may act like it on occasion, but neither Wilmington, nor Buies Creek have suddenly been destroyed so I can’t even pretend to know what Jeremiah was feeling as he was writing this. But I do know what it’s like to feel completely lost in what I think is the depths of despair. I know how it feels to be less than 5 weeks away from graduation with no job, no place to live, no money for grad. school, and nothing definite other than I’m graduating. I bet Jeremiah doesn’t know how terrifying that is. Homie needs to get on my level. But for real. To say that I am absolutely terrified, petrified, scared, whatever other word you want to use, is a complete understatement. I am so afraid of what is going to happen that if I let myself think about it too much, I’ll never make it. I sometimes feel like my world is going to come crashing around me and I have no idea what to do about it. But look at Jeremiah. His city was destroyed and he managed to remember who God was and what He had promised. In the middle of Jerusalem crumbling to the ground Jeremiah was able to say “God’s love is unfailing” “He is always faithful” “God is good to those whose hope is in Him” “He is compassionate”
How is it that Jeremiah is capable of remembering that when his city, his home has literally been destroyed? Yet I can’t remember it when I don’t have a job yet. Jeremiah was able to remember it because he had seen it happen. He had seen God come through in the clutch time and time again. I’ve seen God come through time and time again, yet I don’t have that kind of faith. I want to be like Jeremiah. Lord, help me have the faith of Jeremiah. If he can remember God faithfulness when his city has just been destroyed, then I can trust in God’s faithfulness to see me through this transition period in my life.
So my prayer, is that if you’re struggling or you’re scared about a transition period in your life or unsure of what the future holds, is that you can find some comfort in Lamentations 3. In the middle of a book, that is all about despair, there is hope. In the middle of the crumbling of Jerusalem, Jeremiah found hope in his Eternal Savior.I pray, in the middle of your life, you see the hand of God, protecting you, loving you, and being faithful, like He always has been, and always will be.