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This afternoon, after a fun morning with Lil Man's CC (Classical Conversations) group, we were on our way home reviewing our new week of information as we were driving home. After about 15 minutes of it, my mind began to drift away from Theodore Roosevelt and onto the things I needed to get done today. First on the list, find someone to come pump our septic tank...because, of course that decided to go kaput on us too.
I started to let myself get frustrated and down as I began making call after call getting different quotes...from the not-so-bad to the you-have-got-to-be-kidding-me prices...I heard it all. I finally took a break and went to do a stress relieving activity. I cleaned. In the midst of sweeping and going through the house trying to find all the dirty diapers that were in all kinds of places but the trash, I began to think of the verse from Lamentations - "his mercies never come to an end".
I took a break from my little diaper Easter egg hunt and went to my Bible and opened up to the book of Lamentations, chapter 3. Instead of reading just the verse that I was thinking about, I decided to read the whole chapter. The more I read, the more I was pulled in.
The despair, though tragic, was written so beautifully. I love how God includes all forms of writing in His Word...including poetry. I was completely drawn to every word. After I was done reading, I immediately went to my computer and typed Matthew Henry's Commentary on Lamentations 3 into my Google search bar. I had to know more.
One of my favorite parts of the commentary was this paragraph - "While there is life there is hope; and instead of complaining that things are bad, we should encourage ourselves with the hope they will be better. We are sinful men, and what we complain of, is far less than our sins deserve. We should complain to God, and not of him. We are apt, in times of calamity, to reflect on other people's ways, and blame them; but our duty is to search and try our own ways, that we may turn from evil to God. Our hearts must go with our prayers. If inward impressions do not answer to outward expressions, we mock God, and deceive ourselves." (Matthew Henry Commentary)
The last couple of weeks have been difficult for my family...but not just mine. I have been surrounded by friends and loved ones who are experiencing so many types of calamities in their life. People I love dearly are carrying incredibly heavy burdens right now and it is so hard not to feel the despair.
How beautiful it is, though, to read and believe these words: "The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, 'therefore I will hope in him.'". - Lamentations 3:22-24
God is good. In every and all situations, He is good.
It is so easy to be #blessed and tell the world you are "feeling blessed" when things are going good and great things are happening for you. I get it. I feel totally blessed in those situations, because they are blessings from God. "Do not be deceived, my beloved brothers. Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change." James 1:16-17
I also know that I am not blessed because of good things. I am blessed because I have a God who loves me and is so ridiculously crazy about me that He sent a Rescuer to save me. I have the assurance that He will never leave me, nor forsake me (Hebrews 13:5). I am blessed because God is with me in good times and bad. I am blessed by the promises of my Redeemer...promises like these - "The Lord is near to the brokenhearted
and saves the crushed in spirit." Psalm 34:18
I love the words in the song "Praise You in This Storm" by Casting Crowns..."And I'll praise You in this storm and I will lift my hands, for You are who You are no matter where I am."
I am so glad God reminded me today of His promises and His goodness. Challenge yourself along with me to let Jesus shine in your life...in all times, but especially in the dark times, the sad times, the poor times. The world needs to see that God is good, not because of what we have but what we have in Him.