I remember my affliction and my wandering, the bitterness and the gall. I well remember them, and my soul is downcast within me.
Yet this I call to mind 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.”
~ Lamentations 3:19-24 ~
I find often that I recall the sad and bitter things in my life. I let them well up inside of me, and when I let it continue, they overflow. It is like a record book that is looked over every day. It never changes, but they seem to multiply each time I look back. Sometimes, I feel like there is more bad than good. As if God somehow wasn’t holding me up or wasn’t there for those dark times. I think, I remember, I dwell and despair. I feel a heaviness in my heart that I carry with me wherever I go. I find it hard to picture a soul being downcast. But I think of it as something weighed down so much that it cannot even bear to look up.
But then I stumble across a verse like this. “Because of His great love, we are not consumed.” You see, the book of Lamentations was written while the Israelites were in exile. They had been on a long journey to the land of their captors, their homeland ravished, their friends and family dead. Quite literally, all seemed lost and God appeared to not be with them. Over and over they were told to turn back to him, yet they did not. But still, over and over again He told them that He would bring back a remnant and from that there would be a Savior. They were not forgotten, and their troubles did not fail to reach God’s notice. Why? Because they were His children. And though they had disobeyed, He still loved them. They were being punished. And sometimes in punishments, we fail to see how we our loved. Like from a parent we wonder why our parents despise us so. But that is not the case. On the contrary, they still love us very much, and the pain won’t last forever.
As God showed to His people Israel, He also shows His great love and compassion towards us. Our troubles don’t overwhelm us. Though in the moment we may only remember the wrong, the punishment, the sadness, the anger that we feel and endure, God’s love has not faded away. If we wait on Him, if we put our hope in His love, we will see that His compassion is renewed every day. Our life has not ended, and neither has His love. He is faithful and our portion. We are not consumed by our troubles, but filled with His Love.