(Again, before I write today I’m definitely feeling better than yesterday. Still not great, but it’s an improvement. Thank you so much for your prayers for me. And please don’t stop.)
Lamentations 3:22 The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, his mercies never come to an end; 23 they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. 24 “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I will hope in him.”
If you read the entire 3rd chapter in Lamentations you’ll read a lot of, well, lament. Which is why these verses stick out for me. In the midst of the author’s description of suffering, pain, and loss there is this… hope. Not because his circumstances have changed yet. It’s still awful. But the author’s hope is based on the character of God and the numerous acts of mercy demonstrated by God over many generations.
There is a particular family in the congregation I lead who have family in Puerto Rico. As you’re aware, Puerto Rico was recently devastated by hurricane Maria, leaving much of the island without power or communication or basic infrastructure. My dear friend Allyson travels there regularly to both love on her family members there and let them love on her.
So you can imagine how difficult it was for her when she did not hear from her elderly father for several days after the hurricane made landfall there. Had she been able to do so, she would have hopped on the first place into San Juan, but the airport was closed for several days. No way in, no way out (at least not by air). The people of our church began praying for her and for her family and extended family.
Then earlier this week she finally got word from Puerto Rico. Her father is physically exhausted, but otherwise unharmed. I can only imagine the relief she must have felt. But what impressed me so much was Allyson’s posture in the middle of crisis. She never gave up hope that the Lord would protect her father, despite all the bad news coming out of Puerto Rico. So as I read the passage I think of Allyson. She has embodied for me the verse “The Lord is my portion”, says my soul, “therefore I will hope in him.”
Lord Jesus this morning we pray for those of us around the world who may be running out of hope, who are enduring suffering and pain and worry. Touch our hearts with your grace so we might hope in you. We pray this in your precious name. Amen.