Bible Reading: Lamentations 3:20-26
I will never forget this awful time, as I grieve over my loss. Yet I still dare to hope when I remember this:
The faithful love of the Lord never ends, His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning. I say to myself, “The Lord is my inheritance; therefore, I will hope in him!”
The Lord is good to those who depend on him, to those who search for him. So it is good to wait quietly for salvation from the Lord.
We may be more familiar with the translation of the central part of this reading as follows: ‘The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is his faithfulness’, or of the hymn ‘Great is thy faithfulness’ which is based on them.
These words are often read to bring encouragement at funerals and in other situations of grief and loss, but it is good to recognise their context. The book of Lamentations was written by the prophet Jeremiah as Israel endured great suffering under the rule of the Babylonians. While reminding the people of God’s enduring faithfulness, of his love and of his mercy, Jeremiah does not shy away from facing the reality of the suffering.
As we begin a third year of life under Covid 19, this translation of Lamentations, (the New Living Translation), seems to sum up our struggles really well, while still reminding us to hope in God.
‘I will never forget this awful time, as I grieve over my loss. Yet I still dare to hope…’
What for you has been awful over the last two years? Why not name your struggles before God now and allow him to speak hope into your situation.
Jeremiah goes on to encourage himself as he writes, ‘I say to myself, “The Lord is my inheritance; therefore, I will hope in him!” As we continue to live through the difficulties and the uncertainty, let us remind ourselves of our many blessings, and of our inheritance as children of God; an inheritance as his beloved sons and daughters in this life and in the life to come.
Throughout all the difficulties, it might seem that God is hidden, but he is there even if, as Jeremiah suggests, we need to search for him and wait patiently for our salvation.
God of Hope, as I face the difficulties of this life, remind me of your loving faithfulness and mercy, and help me to wait patiently for the salvation that will come.
Great is thy faithfulness.