Sometimes it takes the darkest moments to understand where light is found.
Difficulty can sound so mundane. In 586 B.C. Babylon came and conquered Judah, destroying Jerusalem, tearing down the walls, the city, the temple.
That doesn’t sound so bad, really, until you read the poems of the lament. They bring to life the real tragedy, the hopeless destruction.
“In the dust of the streets lie the young and the old; my young women and my young men have fallen by the sword; you have killed them in the day of your anger, slaughtering without pity.” (Lamentations 2:21)
“My flesh and my skin waste away… my bones break… I’m enveloped with bitterness and tribulation and darkness and death” (Lamenations 3:4-6). These are cries of suffering and pain and hardship.
The message of Lamentations is made all the more tragic because it is deserved. Random evil didn’t do these things; they are brought on by sin and evil within as well as without.
Yet within the darkest hour there is a glimmer of light that will not go out. We rip it out of context; it is a verse you may know well.
“The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases. His mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness” (Lamentations 3:22-23).
In the dead of night. In the moment when there are not flowers and gentle breezes. In the time of overwhelming tragedy, even self-inflicted. At that moment, there remains a light.
The steadfast love of God.
Not our faithfulness. His.
“Great is your faithfulness” isn’t a statement of God meeting us halfway, or of his having enough to pay us for all we do for him.
“Great is your faithfulness” is a statement of hope when all hope is gone. A statement of personal breakdown, of finally finding where light is.
The steadfast love of the Lord means he did not abandon his people. He sent a savior. His faithful son. Who in the midst of our own sin and sorrow and pain blazes forth with the message of care and love and provision.
His faithfulness provides all that we need. His suffering sacrifice cleanses us. His righteousness is given to us. We have only one place to put our trust—in Jesus.
So when the day breaks and there seems to be light everywhere, remember the real light. The one that is steady when all else fails. The one who brings grace and truth. Our anchor, our savior, Jesus.
Don’t hope in yourself. Not even on your best day. Trust the faithfulness of our God in Christ.
“’The Lord is my portion,’ says my soul, ‘therefore I will hope in him’” (Lamentations 3:24).