An Island of Hope in a Sea of Tears
Lamentations captures the heartfelt grief expressed by the people of Jerusalem after their city was destroyed and they became slaves to the foreign power of Babylon. I couldn’t help but think of the images of destruction following the recent hurricanes when I read the opening lines of Lamentations.
How lonely sits the city that was full of people! How like a widow has she become, she who was great among the nations! She who was a princess among the provinces has become a slave.
One difference between the people of Houston (and those in Florida and the Caribbean) and the people of Jerusalem, is that the people of Jerusalem were enslaved for seventy years. In fact, the city of Jerusalem would lie in ruin for seventy years. And yet, whether it is the situation in Jerusalem, or in Houston…or in your life or my life…grief and suffering and tears are a big part of our stories. So where do we find hope through the tears?
That is one of the great blessings found in this book of tears. Literally, right in the middle of this sea of tears is an island of hope. Perhaps these words of hope from Lamentations 3 are what you need to hear today.
21But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: 22The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; 23they are new every morning, great is your faithfulness. 24The LORD is my portion, says my soul, therefore I will hope in him 25The LORD is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him. 26It is good that one should wait quietly for the salvation of the LORD.
What word of hope do you need to hold onto in the midst of your tears? Is it the reminder that God’s love in Christ will never let you go? Is it that every morning, God’s mercies are new and he does not treat us as our sins deserve? Is it simply the reminder that God is faithful? What about the fact that God is your portion? In other words, if you have God through faith in Jesus, you have all you need.
Or, is it the simple reminder that while God has you in a holding pattern, you can still say with great confidence, “God is good, all the time. All the time, God is good!” Like the psalmist, do you resign yourself to the reality that you must simply wait, but you can do so with peace. Why? It is because salvation comes from Jesus.
Spend some time reading through Lamentations. When you do, take your time reading Lamentations 3. It is an island of hope in a sea of tears.
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