May 21 Devotional

Some weeks back while, as we were reading an article for Sunday School, there was an excerpt from Lamentations, a book of the Bible with which I can’t proclaim much familiarity. What I surmised from the chapter and verse that we had encountered was that it might just be appropriate — or at least interesting — reading, given the season we are living in currently.

What I learned about its structure is that, in Lamentations, Jeremiah has written a poem, a funeral dirge of sorts after the destruction of Jerusalem. The people had rejected God and what would follow was suffering and exile. Jeremiah’s nation was devastated.

“The roads to Zion mourn, for one comes to her appointed festivals. All her gateways are desolate, her priests groan, her young women grieve, and she is in bitter anguish.” Jeremiah offers these words, and much more, to paint a picture of the mourning of Jerusalem.  It’s often difficult to see the proverbial “light at the end of the tunnel” when we are in seasons of difficulty, of despair, of grieving. Many of us are, in fact, grieving something this season, even if we may only be grieving the season itself and what we perceive has been taken from us and how we have been forced to adjust the way we live our daily lives.

But reading further on through Lamentations, Jeremiah offers hope, reminds us of God’s great faithfulness and that His compassion and mercy are ever-present. My study Bible titles chapter 3, “Hope in the midst of affliction,” and beginning in Verse 22, Jeremiah shares:

“..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.’ ”

Reading on to the end of Lamentations, restoration follows. Jeremiah prays for his people, for God’s mercy on them.  hey would be restored if they would but return to God, knowing that in Him is where their hope is found.

I pray that we will — even amidst our own lament — turn to God for healing love, his great faithfulness and his abundant mercy.

Written by Eric Adkins, Outreach Team Leader