Thursday, January 24, 2013

Hope in the darkness

The first thing I usually do in the morning is to boot up the computer and check the Bible verse of the day. Then I pray about what to write about that verse for my blogs. But some days, though the verse is great, it's hard to come up with anything related to the verse.

This morning was one of those days. I guess I felt mildly depressed and tired - the thoughts just muddled around in my brain without direction.

So on a whim I decided to type in a random scripture reference and see what popped up. Lamentations was the first Bible book that popped into my head because it's one I seldom read. So I typed in Lamentations 3:6. The verse that popped up really surprised me.

"He has buried me in a dark place,
like those long dead."

OooooKaaaayyyy... Not what I was expecting, though maybe it did match my slightly depressed, brain-dead mental state this morning. 
What I saw in the early part of the chapter was a person who felt like they were hopelessly alone in their suffering like even God was mad at them. Nothing they prayed about could get through the emotional fog they felt and even if it did, God wasn't listening. Hmmm. I know from experience that depression can cause me to feel like that.Long Tunnel

I wasn't sure what to do with it until I felt the Spirit nudging me - "Keep reading." As I obeyed that nudge, I noticed a change in the writer's attitude. He saw a little spark of hope, a light at the end of the proverbial tunnel beginning in verse 21.

Wow! I may have woke up feeling a little low, but through a random search, (Was it really random? LOL!) God lifted my heart too, especially through the middle section of the chapter.Here's just a few verses that stood out to me:

31 For no one is abandoned
by the Lord forever.
32 Though he brings grief, he also shows compassion
because of the greatness of his unfailing love.
33 For he does not enjoy hurting people
or causing them sorrow.

In this chapter that starts out so depressing, the first 20 verses are dedicated to the suffering of the writer. The next 21 verses speak about God - his faithfulness, his love and his desire to lift his people out of that suffering state.

This was written by Jeremiah, during the time of when the once great nation of Israel under King David had fallen away from their devotion to God and they were being judged for their sin. The remainder of the chapter deals with the writer's appeal to God's righteousness to defend him against his enemies.

Check out the whole chapter of Lamentations 3 and tell me which verses speak to you today.

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