A Meditation on Lamentations 3:16-25

A Meditation on Lamentations 3:16-25


Over the past two years, the Lord has moved my heart repeatedly to the sad, strange book of Lamentations.  Comprised of a series of acrostic poems mourning the fall of Jerusalem, the emotion of the prophet Jeremiah has become a sort of companion for my soul.  No, I have not suffered as this man did.  My nation has never endured anything as remotely tragic as the destruction of our capital and the mass deportation of our people by a foreign power, as Judah did during this period.  Yet, as I consider the reality of those around me, I am often overwhelmed.  A mother grieves the loss of her only son . . . a dear friend receives a devastating diagnosis . . . my own nation continues its headlong pursuit of emptiness and self-destruction . . . the people of God cry out to politicians for rescue . . . the greedy and the powerful prevail . . .

I cannot claim the context, but I resonate with the words of the prophet as he weeps . . .

            “He has made my teeth grind on gravel, and made me cower in ashes; 

              my soul is bereft of peace; I have forgotten what happiness is;

              so I say, ‘My endurance has perished; so has my hope from the LORD.’

              Remember my affliction and my wanderings, the wormwood and the gall!

             My soul continually remembers it and is bowed down within me (Lamentations 3:16-20).”

 And yet . . . out of the depths of depression and despair, I hear another note to this song.  Even as my soul sinks under the weight of this world’s utter hopelessness, the Spirit of the living God reminds me of a blood-stained cross and an empty tomb and a Spirit-filled people.  And I hear another chorus rising up within me, joining the throng of the redeemed, turning together with Jeremiah and singing,

            “But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope:

             The steadfast love of Yahweh never ceases;

             His mercies never come to an end;

             they are new every morning;

             great is your faithfulness.

            ‘Yahweh is my portion,’ says my soul,

            ‘therefore I will hope in him’ (Lamentations 3:21-24).”


In the midst of a world gone mad, child of God, would you cry out with me to the living God?  Won’t you join me in worship, even as we weep at the realities of this fallen world?  Our hope is set on Him! It is He who has made us!  Our Redeemer lives!  Let us never forget that “Yahweh is good to those who wait for Him, to the soul who seeks Him.”