There are whole books in the Old Testament that I have never read. (Yes, I feel bad about this.) Recently, my devotional led me to read in Lamentations 3- one of those books that I’ve never laid eyes upon.
I read the prophet Jeremiah speak of God: “He has walled me about so that I cannot escape; he has made my chains heavy; though I call and cry for help, he said or my prayer; he has blocked my ways with blocks of stones; he has made my paths crooked.” (Lam. 3:7-9) And he went on to describe many other terrible afflictions.
It’s weird, but this encouraged me. I feel like I experienced something very similar when I got sick: I went to the pit of despair and my plans were ruined. But I found out during that time just what Jeremiah did: “The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. ‘The Lord is my portion,” says my should, ‘therefore I will hope in him.'” (Lam. 3:22-24)
(Maybe I have read that select verse from Lamentations about God’s mercies being new every morning… Who knew?)
I went into that hard season of sickness thinking God owed me something for my service to Him. As Christians, though, there’s one thing we are promised in this life and that’s hardship. Jesus came to heal and give eternal life – absolutely- but we must remember that He is our prize, not a perfect, enjoyable life.
I don’t know about you, but I like this version of Christianity better. There are less life experiences to reason out in my heart and I can trust God no matter what happens. Not to say that I have this pat down. It’s just something I’m learning.
“His mercies never come to an end.”