After my initial reading of Lamentations 3:22-233, I was puzzled: Why did the reading open with such hopeful words? The passage starts as follows:
As soon as we’re told the Lord’s mercies are new every morning, we’re reminded of how difficult life can be. In Lamentations 3:25-33 were confronted with the reality that we will face afflictions. We will suffer. And, sometimes, we’ll have to wait on the Lord for deliverance.
Which leads us back to the initial question: Why are we told God’s mercies are new every day when we face prolonged affliction?
Why? Because God truly is merciful. When we suffer, it can feel like God is distant. It may seem like God is not present with us. The author of Lamentations is giving us a reality check: No matter how we feel, God is still with us. His mercies are new every day, whether we sense it or not.
It is the Lord who causes the sun to rise. It is the Lord who provides are daily bread. It is the Lord who promised to never leave us or forsake us. (Hebrews 13:5) It is the Lord who sustains every day while we wait for deliverance.
In turns out, starting this lesson with God’s daily mercies was the best way to start this reading.
Until next week, the Lord bless and guide.
(These devotions are written for the congregations of the Ohio District.- LCMS. For more information on our partnership of churches, click here.)