Who Knew Lamentations Could Speak to Me
Who Knew Lamentations Could Speak to Me. Since September 2022, my friend and I have been reading scripture together. She has never read the Bible through and I had not been reading in a while due to just not wanting to, to be honest. T challenged me and we embarked on this beautiful journey together.
We landed in Lamentations. Jeremiah (the wailing prophet) had just been finished and during that time of reading, we were both filled with anxiety. I sent her a message that basically said “chin up, we are heading into Lamentations where EVERYONE laments about something.” It’s just one of those books that you just trudge through.
Until Chapter 3 hit and my goodness, this is everything that has been in my head written out. My pain in a chapter, the power of hope and faithfulness, not hearing the Lord speak but knowing He is there. All of it. This sums up the last several months (read years) of my journey.
This is not new to me. I was told, when I was 19, that I had “clinical depression.” They put me on meds and I stayed on them on and off for years. I am a big believer in taking something to help even out your brain chemistry, get through a season, or when a person is just flat out anxious about all the things. Eventually, I had to change meds, get on bigger dosages, etc.
In time, I have been in therapy, tried holistic measures, worked on my health, and done other things to help. For the last several years, depression has always been there but not the shining star. It has been anxiety. Severe, almost debilitating anxiety on so many levels.
Over the last several months, my anxiety is still there, but it is not longer at the forefront, depression has squeaked by and is taking the top spot. This season has made me question everything from my sanity, to faithfulness of others, to lack of hope, to where is God in all the chaos.
Enter Lamentations 3
Hope in the Lord’s Faithfulness
3 I am the one who has seen the afflictions
that come from the rod of the Lord’s anger.
2 He has led me into darkness,
shutting out all light.
3 He has turned his hand against me
again and again, all day long.
4 He has made my skin and flesh grow old.
He has broken my bones.
5 He has besieged and surrounded me
with anguish and distress.
6 He has buried me in a dark place,
like those long dead.
7 He has walled me in, and I cannot escape.
He has bound me in heavy chains.
8 And though I cry and shout,
he has shut out my prayers.
9 He has blocked my way with a high stone wall;
he has made my road crooked.
10 He has hidden like a bear or a lion,
waiting to attack me.
11 He has dragged me off the path and torn me in pieces,
leaving me helpless and devastated.
12 He has drawn his bow
and made me the target for his arrows.
13 He shot his arrows
deep into my heart.
14 My own people laugh at me.
All day long they sing their mocking songs.
15 He has filled me with bitterness
and given me a bitter cup of sorrow to drink.
16 He has made me chew on gravel.
He has rolled me in the dust.
17 Peace has been stripped away,
and I have forgotten what prosperity is.
18 I cry out, “My splendor is gone!
Everything I had hoped for from the Lord is lost!”
19 The thought of my suffering and homelessness
is bitter beyond words.
20 I will never forget this awful time,
as I grieve over my loss.
21 Yet I still dare to hope
when I remember this:
22 The faithful love of the Lord never ends!
His mercies never cease.
23 Great is his faithfulness;
his mercies begin afresh each morning.
24 I say to myself, “The Lord is my inheritance;
therefore, I will hope in him!”
25 The Lord is good to those who depend on him,
to those who search for him.
26 So it is good to wait quietly
for salvation from the Lord.
27 And it is good for people to submit at an early age
to the yoke of his discipline:
28 Let them sit alone in silence
beneath the Lord’s demands.
29 Let them lie face down in the dust,
for there may be hope at last.
30 Let them turn the other cheek to those who strike them
and accept the insults of their enemies.
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.
34 If people crush underfoot
all the prisoners of the land,
35 if they deprive others of their rights
in defiance of the Most High,
36 if they twist justice in the courts—
doesn’t the Lord see all these things?
37 Who can command things to happen
without the Lord’s permission?
38 Does not the Most High
send both calamity and good?
39 Then why should we, mere humans, complain
when we are punished for our sins?
40 Instead, let us test and examine our ways.
Let us turn back to the Lord.
41 Let us lift our hearts and hands
to God in heaven and say,
42 “We have sinned and rebelled,
and you have not forgiven us.
43 “You have engulfed us with your anger, chased us down,
and slaughtered us without mercy.
44 You have hidden yourself in a cloud
so our prayers cannot reach you.
45 You have discarded us as refuse and garbage
among the nations.
46 “All our enemies
have spoken out against us.
47 We are filled with fear,
for we are trapped, devastated, and ruined.”
48 Tears stream from my eyes
because of the destruction of my people!
49 My tears flow endlessly;
they will not stop
50 until the Lord looks down
from heaven and sees.
51 My heart is breaking
over the fate of all the women of Jerusalem.
52 My enemies, whom I have never harmed,
hunted me down like a bird.
53 They threw me into a pit
and dropped stones on me.
54 The water rose over my head,
and I cried out, “This is the end!”
55 But I called on your name, Lord,
from deep within the pit.
56 You heard me when I cried, “Listen to my pleading!
Hear my cry for help!”
57 Yes, you came when I called;
you told me, “Do not fear.”
58 Lord, you have come to my defense;
you have redeemed my life.
59 You have seen the wrong they have done to me, Lord.
Be my judge, and prove me right.
60 You have seen the vengeful plots
my enemies have laid against me.
61 Lord, you have heard the vile names they call me.
You know all about the plans they have made.
62 My enemies whisper and mutter
as they plot against me all day long.
63 Look at them! Whether they sit or stand,
I am the object of their mocking songs.
64 Pay them back, Lord,
for all the evil they have done.
65 Give them hard and stubborn hearts,
and then let your curse fall on them!
66 Chase them down in your anger,
destroying them beneath the Lord’s heavens.
There Is Hope
I am going to have to start chanting that, even when I don’t feel it or believe it right now. Right now, things seem insurmountable and I feel very alone. Logically, I know that I am not alone but sometimes you can be in a room full of people that love you and still feel lonely. That is me.
Here I am, still keeping my eyes above the waves and taking it one day at a time. Please know that there is always hope. If you don’t feel like you have anyone, please call 988 which is the national hotline for suicide prevention. They always answer the phone 24/7. You are NOT alone.