Slow your breathing and become aware of the taking in and letting out of your breath. Focus on putting things aside so you will be open to what God is saying to you today.
Lamentations 3:22-33 (NRSV)
The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases,
his mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
“The LORD is my portion,” says my soul,
“therefore I will hope in him.”
The LORD is good to those who wait for him,
to the soul that seeks him.
It is good that one should wait quietly
for the salvation of the LORD.
It is good for one to bear
the yoke in youth,
to sit alone in silence
when the Lord has imposed it,
to put one’s mouth to the dust
(there may yet be hope),
to give one’s cheek to the smiter,
and be filled with insults.
For the Lord will not
Although he causes grief, he will have compassion
according to the abundance of his steadfast love;
for he does not willingly afflict
or grieve anyone.
How gratefully we read the author’s reminder that God’s steadfast love never ceases, and the Lord’s mercies never end! Then we continue to read that in life we will bear burdens, endure imposed silence, have falls along life’s journey, and be filled with insults. It’s no wonder the book is called “Lamentations!” It sounds as though the writer may have read Murphy’s Law written in Hebrew! Remember, though, we couldn’t experience sun, joy, or peace if we did not have the comparisons with rain, sorrow, and chaos.
Years ago a tornado tore through my hometown. Many homes and businesses were damaged. I sat in the dark, listening to the torrential rain and the destructive wind, and wondered about the birds and nests in the trees. How would they survive? The limbs bent and almost touched the ground. About 3 AM the wind and rain stopped. The silence was SO LOUD! Like the Christmas carol line, “the world in solemn stillness lay.” Sometime afterward I slept, and when I woke up, it sounded as though all the birds in the area were in my yard. They were singing their little hearts out as if life were perfect! The birds’ songs definitely showed their “strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow.” How well can we live that example during life’s storms?
O God, thank you for all that you give us. Often we forget to count our troubles as blessings because of what we learn from them. Help us to use the courage of our convictions and rally against problems with your help and guidance, rather than giving in to defeat. Keep us safely through today and guide us in your way. In Jesus’s name. Amen.
Go with God.