By Hannah Clements
The book of Lamentations has recently drawn me in. Even its name has caught my eye. To lament means to mourn, grieve, and sob. I picture laying on your face in the dust kind of mourning.
Lamentations was written during a time of great mourning. The city of Jerusalem was destroyed and in pieces. Sobs were heard through the night. The roads were mourning. Friends became enemies. Hearts were broken, and souls were in despair. (Lamentations 1)
It caught my eye because I have reason to believe that many can relate to Lamentations in our present day. Our city and circles are mourning. Some of our homes, lives, and relationships lay in ruins. People are mourning loss, betrayal, and disappointment. We are lamenting for reasons known by others and reasons hidden privately within our own walls.
Truthfully, Lamentations is hard to read. Not only were the people in great mourning, but they were violently starving. The picture isn’t pretty. Some of our pictures aren’t pretty either.
Lamentations 3:19 says, “The thought of my suffering and homelessness is bitter beyond words. I will never forget this awful time as I grieve over my loss."
Friends, much like the author of Lamentations, I bet you will never forget your season of despair – like that time your husband left you, the time you lost your job, the time you couldn’t get pregnant, the time you grieved the loss of your friend, or the time you faced a ugly diagnosis. You won’t forget that. You will grieve that, and you have permission to mourn.
BUT, get this next part, friends….God’s Word is good. If you look closely, right in the middle of the grief and despair you will find a little nugget of hope amongst the rubble. Lamentations picks up here in verse 20, “Yet I still dare to hope...”
Did you catch that? Dare to hope in the middle of your mourning.
"Because of this – The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies begin fresh each morning. I say to myself, ‘The Lord is my inheritance; therefore, I will hope in him.’"(Lam. 3:19-24)
No matter what is going on around us, may we be bold enough to hope and choose to start each day remembering that His mercies are new each morning; His faithful love never ends.
There you have it: a dare to hope right in the middle of despair when it seems like there is no hope to be found. “Lie face down in the dust, for there may be hope at last.” (Lam. 3:29)
DARE TO HOPE, for He is faithful.
Your children are mourning for reasons you know and are not surprised by. You are near to the broken-hearted. Oh Lord, may we find hope in each new day for you are faithful and good. You work all things out for our good.