Devotional on Lamentations

Surveying the devastation, with hope
Lamentations 3: The “worst” is never the worst.
On the surface the words “the ‘worst’ is never the worst” sounds pretty naive. It apparently goes along with “Cheer up, things could be worse” — just a shallow throwaway line that has no traction in a broken life. I have to remind myself of where I am and who it is giving this, seeming trite, advice. I’m standing in the midst of the rubble that was Jerusalem. Decaying bodies are in sight. The man speaking is Jeremiah, the weeping prophet. He’s the one saying, “Hang in there. You think this is the worst situation possible, but something good will rise even out of these ashes.” The prophet knows that his words won’t make sense unless he adds the reason for his surprising optimism. He continues: “Why? Because the Master won’t ever walk out and fail to return. He works severely, he also works tenderly.” The worst isn’t the worst because God doesn’t walk out, never to return; and when he returns, it’s with tender compassion. I may be traveling down an unwelcome road right now. The darkness may seem complete because it appears God has forsaken me for good. Jeremiah reminds me that it’s never that way. Even Jeremiah, who has first-hand seen the “severity” of God, is absolutely convinced of the “tenderness” of God. I need to sit at the feet of this man who can stand in the midst of devastation and declare his trust in the Master’s tender faithfulness. These are deep, and necessary truths; especially in the painful days of life.
Take Away: Trust in the Lord even in the hardest days of life.

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