The Weeping Prophet
We worked on some verses in Lamentations (chapter 3) last week in Bible study. This passage has kept coming back to me over the week.
Have you ever felt like this?
“Even when I call out or cry for help, he shuts out my prayer.” (v. 8)
I felt that way for a long time after Hannah Grace died… I have told people that when I made meager attempts to pray, I felt like a brick wall was about a foot above my head and all the prayers came to a crashing halt right there. This is not something I had ever really heard a grieving Christian talk about… much less admit. If you are in this place, perhaps you can lean on the truth (as I did) that the Holy Spirit intervenes for you when you are not capable of uttering hardly anything that makes sense.
How about this?
“He pierced my heart with arrows from his quiver (v. 13)”
“I have been deprived of peace; I have forgotten what prosperity is. So I say, ‘My splendor is gone and all that I had hoped from the Lord’.” (vs. 17-18)
I had to face the reality that, while I did not (and do not) believe that God struck Hannah Grace with cancer, strokes, etc, he did allow that to happen. Talk about piercing a heart… but if God intervened in every problem in this cruel world, it would no longer be our world- it would be Heaven. Why should He have saved Hannah and not another child? It literally hurts my chest to type those words, but it’s true.
This is where I’ve been this week…
“I remember my affliction and my wandering, the bitterness and the gall. I well remember them, and my soul is downcast within me.” (vs. 19-20)
I would love to say that after a year and seven months down the road my soul no longer becomes downcast… but that is not at all true. There are many things about that 2 1/2 months we spent in ACH and the immediate aftermath that I will never forget no matter how hard I want to. There are also things I have forgotten… some I’m thankful for and some I would give anything to recall. Some days that bitterness still almost chokes me.
So now what?
“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.’ The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him; it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord.” (vs. 21-26)
The phrase that always captures my attention is “this I call to mind”… this reflects that there must be a conscious decision on my part to force my mind towards the Lord’s goodness and mercies. Ideally that would happen easily and naturally, but with human minds and hearts it does not always happen quite so eloquently. I am not consumed… we are not consumed… no matter what happens in this life, God is enough.