When is the last time you read Lamentations? It’s been awhile for me. In fact while flipping through, I noticed some highlighted verses, verses I don’t remember high-lighting. Yes, it has been that long. It’s an often forgotten book due to the subject matter, mourning, grief, destruction, sin. No one necessarily wants to read about such depressing stuff. But boy did it seem relevant as I was reading through.
How lonely sits the city that was full of people!
How like a widow she has become, she who was great among the nations!
She was a princess among the provinces has become a slave.Lamentations 1:1
Here are some important notes about Lamentaions. It was written after the fall of Jerusalem, as Babylon wiped out the temple and the city in 587 B.C. Lamentations is a book made up of five very intricately designed poems that use the Hebrew alphabet like an acrostic. It’s more complicated that I can understand, but know this; it was written as a dirge, a mournful, prayerful, song for a ruined society.
I encourage you to read it in its entirety because although mournful over the loss of their people, their beloved city, their way of life, their place of worship, it exudes hope. There is hope that there will be a restoration of the relationship with God. That although their sin brought them very low, God’s mercy is greater still.
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.Lamentations 3:21-24
It is okay to mourn over the loss we are all feeling. The loss of our way of life. The loss of our fellow countrymen and those all over the globe. The loss of security. The setting in of fear. God is big enough, and kind enough to deal with all of those emotions. But right now, he longs for a restored relationship with him. I think most of us would agree that our love of God has wavered, our sin has meant more to us that the God who saves us from it. Here is an opportunity to ache with grief and ask our loving Father to deliver us. He is able.
I challenge you to write poetry, to sing songs, to grieve in your spirit and take it to the Lord. As a camp, we are especially feeling the burden of not having guests, the lifeblood of our ministry, here right now. I am praying that though isolated and quarantined, we will come together to lament and pray. Lament with us. Lament for your family. Lament for our world, and know there is Hope.