Put these key numbers in your phone or where you can easily find them: the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (800) 273-8255, and the Crisis Text Line (text to 741741). You can also reach Johnson County Mental Health Emergency Services 24/7 at (913) 268-0156.
16 He crushed my teeth into the gravel; he pressed me down into the ashes.
17 I’ve rejected peace; I’ve forgotten what is good.
18 I thought: My future is gone, as well as my hope from the LORD.
19 The memory of my suffering and homelessness is bitterness and poison.
20 I can’t help but remember and am depressed.
21 I call all this to mind—therefore, I will wait.
22 Certainly the faithful love of the LORD hasn’t ended; certainly God’s compassion isn’t through!
23 They are renewed every morning. Great is your faithfulness.
24 I think: The LORD is my portion! Therefore, I’ll wait for him.
25 The LORD is good to those who hope in him, to the person who seeks him.
26 It’s good to wait in silence for the LORD’s deliverance.
In 586 B.C., Babylon’s army destroyed Jerusalem and exiled many leading citizens. (You can read about Jerusalem’s fall in 2 Kings 25:1-21). Lamentations recorded the anguish of an Israelite (maybe the prophet Jeremiah) left behind in Judah. The writer of Lamentations couldn’t see any human hope for the future (verse 18) and had to deal with “suffering and homelessness” (verse 19) in the present.
- The Common English Bible renders one of the great words of the Old Testament, the Hebrew hesed in verse 22, as “the faithful love of the LORD (Yahweh).” Other English translations use expressions like “steadfast love” or “unfailing love.” The writer somehow trusted in God’s unending love even in the rubble of a burned, ruined city, no doubt with unburied bodies still in the streets. How have you been able to hold to God’s steadfast, unfailing love even in your worst times?
- Commentator H. L. Ellison wrote, “The ‘hope’ that the writer expresses here does not spring from denying or minimizing suffering and misery. Rather, these are transformed when the mind is turned to God…. The very fact of awakening to a new day is a renewal of God’s mercy. Humans have passed safely through the night, a foreshadowing of death.”* How do you start your day as you come awake? Make a morning habit of expressing gratitude to God for this day’s gift of life, even when it's a hard day.
Creator God, thank you for the gift of this new day. Whatever trials or hardships I may face today, let the morning light remind me that your mercies are ever-present with me. Amen.
* H. L. Ellison, article on “Lamentations” in The Expositor’s Bible Commentary, Abridged: Old Testament. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1994, p. 1268.
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Brandon Gregory is a volunteer for the worship and missions teams at Church of the Resurrection. He helps lead worship at Leawood's modern worship services, as well as at the West and Downtown services, and is involved with the Malawi missions team at home.