Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: because of the Lord’s great love for us, we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness! Therefore I will say to myself, “The Lord is my portion, therefore I will wait for HimLamentations 3:21-24
This verse is on the mirror on a sticky-note too. My favorite thing about these words is to remember the context in which they were written. The author (Jeremiah, most likely) is in the midst of a terrible time. He has witnessed the destruction of Jerusalem; he has seen the devastation of God’s chosen people and their refusal to turn back to Him. Just earlier in the same passage, he writes, “I am a man who has seen affliction… (God) has made me walk in darkness… and left me without help. I remember my affliction, wandering and bitterness… YET.” NOTHING in Jeremiah’s situation changes before he says, “YET.” Jerusalem is still destroyed. God’s people are still devastated. Jeremiah is still suffering immensely. The only thing that changes in the midst of his suffering is the posture of his heart.
Instead of choosing to focus on all that God hasn’t done for him, he chooses to remember who God is. Can we? In the midst of a global pandemic, in the midst of a family crisis, or in the day to day mundane when our prayers go unanswered and God feels distant, can we remember who God is? Can we remember His great love for us, His great faithfulness, and His compassions that never fail? When life is not what I had hoped, when I do not see what the Lord is doing, I am learning to say, “yet.” Yet, He is good. Yet, He loves me. Even if it does not go well with me today, this month, this year, Jesus is still enough. The Lord is my portion, and I will wait for Him.
“Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken or my covenant of peace be removed,” says the Lord who has compassion on you. “Afflicted city, lashed by storms and not comforted, I will rebuild you with stones of turquoise, your foundations with lapis lazuli. I will make your battlements of rubies, your gates of sparkling jewels, and all your walls of precious stones. All your children will be taught by the Lord, and great will be your peace.”Isaiah 54:10-13
Recently, God used this verse to remind me that He is always a God who restores. Where we have been destroyed, He will rebuild us, where we are broken, He will bind us up, where we are failing, He will show compassion. Though the whole world crumbles, His promises to us and His love for us remain unchanged. You may feel that your own heart, your family, your town, your nation, or maybe, in the case of coronavirus, the whole world, has been afflicted and lashed by the storms. You may feel that you have cried out for comfort and not been comforted. I’ve been there, too.
When I first ran across this verse, I felt like it was a promise straight to my heart that God will restore all that we have lost, and He will do it with glory. I imagine a ruined city being rebuilt, the crumbling walls built back up with brilliant stones, the children laughing and playing in peace. This is a picture we see over and over throughout the Bible that God will one day restore what’s broken, and it will be more beautiful and glorious than anything we can even imagine! This is who God is. He restores. Into our destruction, He brings splendor. Into our drought, He brings water. Into our dark night, He brings stars. Out of the tomb, He brings new life. Into our not-good, He will bring His very good.
“God is too good to be unkind and too wise to be mistaken. And when you cannot trace His hand, you can trust His heart.”Charles Spurgeon
I don’t know what He is up to friends, but I believe with all of my heart that He is up to something and that His plans will not be thwarted and will be for the good of those He loves. When we cannot see it, and we cannot believe that it could possibly be for our good (Oh, I have been there!), and when it doesn’t feel at all light or momentary, we can trust His heart. YOU can trust our kind and merciful Father. I am praying that you know Him closer in this season than you ever have before.
Missed Part 1? “Lord, you are trustworthy.” – Part 1