Often a new year provides opportunities to reflect on aspects of life we would want to change. Improved health, better relationships, and a hope for stronger finances might direct us to make resolutions and commitments. For lasting change in these area to be realized, our daily habits and actions have to adjust as well.
There are some parts of our lives that seem to be impossible to change. The circumstances we find ourselves in cannot be changed by mere effort. The weight of these issues might cause us to despair of hope, and even believe that God is permanently against us and silent to our cries for help. The author of Lamentations had such an experience. The city of Jerusalem was facing unspeakable trouble. Young and old alike were being killed in the streets. The siege of the city had been so severe and the food so scarce some had resorted to cannibalizing their own young.
The news was so devastating for the author (perhaps, Jeremiah the prophet) of the Lamentations, that he nearly lost His faith in God. He believed God had swallowed up Jerusalem without mercy (2:2). The author’s capacity to endure and continue hoping in God was almost used up (3:18). The trouble and atrocities around him were too much for him to still believe that Israel was loved by God and were beneficiaries of mercy.
In the midst of untold pain and heartache, the prophet was able to catch glimpses of God’s kindness. Listen to his words of divine wisdom, for they are God’s words to us as well.
“But this I call to mind,
and therefore I have hope:
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 soul,
“therefore I will hope in him.”
The Lord is good to those who wait for him,
to the soul who seeks him.
It is good that one should wait quietly
for the salvation of the Lord.”
The prophet realized that no matter what was happening to him, there was new mercy for the day. Grace had sustained him through the previous day, and fresh grace was his for that new day. The rescue that God brings is often not immediate, but it does come to those who wait patiently.
Our duty is to daily set His Word before our eyes so we don’t forget His kindnesses. Isaac Watts said it this way,
“The testimonies of thy grace
I set before mine eyes;
Thence I derive my daily strength,
And there my comfort lies.”
Join me in celebrating and setting our mind on God’s daily grace and mercy, new every morning this year, and every year until we fully enjoy His grace in His presence for eternity.