Tomorrow morning, my pastor is starting a new series of messages at church. We’re going to spend the six weeks looking at the Old Testament book of Lamentations. To my knowledge, it isn’t a Biblical space many churches choose to go. It’s a story full of loss and depression and brokenness and disillusion and very little sunniness or cheer.
On the surface, Lamentations is kind of a moody hell hole.
Just look at the first verse:
1 How lonely sits the city
that was full of people!
How like a widow has she become,
she who was great among the nations!
She who was a princess among the provinces
has become a slave.
That’s not exactly the text from a Hallmark card, is it?
And, yet, I’m very excited about jumping into the text. It resonates with where I’ve been emotionally the past couple weeks. I mean, I’m really happy much of the time…God has poured incredible blessing into my life. I have everything I need, I have healthy children with whom I have good relationships, I have a great job, and I have a beautiful best friend who I adore. There is, truly, nothing to complain about.
But my brain chemicals get out of whack sometimes and I get mired down in a funk and that’s a lot to burden people with…so I mostly keep it to myself. And, when I DO say anything about it to people, it rarely seems like they get it…so I wind up feeling like an ungrateful complainer.
My best friend told me this afternoon that the Lord is near to the brokenhearted. I’m grateful to her for those words…for that reminder. I’m not, necessarily, brokenhearted…but I need to know – to KNOW in my core – that God is always near and always loving me.
Near the end of the first chapter of Lamentations is this verse:
16 “For these things I weep;
my eyes flow with tears;
for a comforter is far from me,
one to revive my spirit;
my children are desolate,
for the enemy has prevailed.”
While I understand how the prophet Jeremiah, the writer of Lamentations, could write those words, I also know how close our Comforter is. He never leaves. He never forsakes. He never turns away from us.
So, for the next six weeks, I’ll be walking through this book of brokenness. And I’ll be seeing, again and again, how truly good the love of Jesus is.