“For no one is cast off by the Lord forever. Though he brings grief, he will show compassion, so great is his unfailing love. For he does not willingly bring affliction or grief to anyone.” Lamentations 3:31-33
As the year winds down, and another one set to begin, it’s so important that gratitude fills our heart in spite of setbacks, challenges and unanswered prayers. Ultimately, it has been a privilege on its own to see all of 2022 because so many others never did. Let’s pause to say, thank you God for letting me experience one more year.
READ MORE: Let’s do a new thing in 2022.
Although we start off a new year with so much hope and faith, the end of one can be a little bit of a downer. We can still see and feel our unaccomplished dreams, mistakes, uncertainties and they arrest our hearts in a profound, painful way. Pain is its own language that only the chosen few gets to feel. It’s a direct highway to the soul, that nothing tangible or temporal can soothe; not food, not sleep, not sunshine, not even true love. Pain is a suffering that, although some of us numb through our chosen drug, only time can heal. But, Lamentations 3:31 says, “though he brings grief, he will show compassion, so great is his unfailing love.”
When we go through painful circumstances, it truly feels that everyone has left us, and we are the only ones going through it. It makes us want to isolate because in truth, who can take the pain away from us? Who can make it disappear? Who can bring back our happiness? Pain makes us feel like our very existence is questionable. That’s why the Lord has to remind us, even though we are grieving now, he promises “to show compassion.” More importantly, in the midst of our pain, his unfailing love is great.
READ MORE: Let stillness lead you to success.
How do we remind a grieving – suffering person that the Lord “does not willingly bring affliction or grief to anyone”? (Lamentations 3:33). Our heart wants to be happy all the time, yet our dear Heavenly Father does His finest work in our pain. Is that hard to receive? Why would our good Father make us carry the torch of pain, and not soothe our hearts when He hears our cry? He says in Psalms 34:18, “the Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”
Our soul goes through such unraveling. Pain is like an inspector checking painstakingly (pun intended) every nook and cranky to see what is in our heart. Will God find a faithful person? Will he find a greedy, selfish person? Will he find a weak, pitiful person? Will he find courage, strength, endurance and resilience? Even more importantly, will God find an obedient child in us? In truth, we don’t even know what we are made of until we go through pain. It is definitely the worse kind of pruning. Yet we know, “weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning” Psalms 30:5.
Only after we have endured pain, can we truly testify about the goodness of the Lord, and truly see who we really are: a warrior or worrier?
READ MORE: Who do we call for help?
This year might have been good for some, bad for others, and maybe like me, it was a little bit of everything. If you are experiencing some pain right now, Lamentation three really hones in on some tips/reminders/suggestions to get through this difficult time. I know it won’t be easy but let’s do the best we can:
- Be hopeful: His mercies never come to an end, they are new every morning, great is your faithfulness. The Lord is my portion.
- Wait: The Lord is good to those who wait for Him, to the soul who seeks Him.
- Wait: It is good that one should wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord.
- Take reflective quiet time: It is good for a man that he bear the yoke in his youth. Let him sit alone in silence when it is laid on him.
- Stay humble: Let him put his mouth in the dust – there may yet be hope.
- Take no Revenge!: Let him give his cheek to the one who strikes, and let him be filled with insults.
- Stop complaining: Is it not from the mouth of the Most High that good and bad come? Why should a living man complain…?
- Reflect: Let us test and examine our ways and return to the Lord!
- Praise God & Ask for forgiveness: Let us lift up our hearts and hands to God in heaven: we have transgressed and rebelled, and you have not forgiven.
May you Praise God into the new year because no matter how we feel right now, it doesn’t change God’s character and His unfailing love towards us. He is good, He is faithful, and He is close to the broken hearted.