I woke up this morning to find the website problem still plagues me. Though my navigation bar continues to wander around, obliterating headings (a minor issue in light of eternity), yet I am not consumed. I did not tear my hair. I did not weep. Though I’m helping launch a terrific new e-book and I want my site to look perfect and professional, the problem remains.
Yet, God is still good, and he is overflowing in mercy.
Because he loves us so very greatly, he extends his compassion each morning without fail. He is a faithful God. I can wait for him, in big things with eternal weightiness and in little things like website technology. He will work out his will in my life through trial and heartache and blessing.
“Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, ‘The LORD is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.’ The LORD is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him” (Lamentations 3:22-25).
How can I know if I truly believe this? The two bold phrases in the passage are from the same Hebrew word, which means: “to bind together by twisting; to be gathered together, to lie in wait; to expect, to look for patiently, to be confident, to trust.”
So, I give myself a test to see where I stand. I ask:
- Have I intertwined myself so thoroughly with the Lord that we are twisted together like rope, bound together in every possible way?
- Do I look toward him with trust and confidence that he will keep his promises?
- Do I place all of my hope in him, waiting expectantly for him to act?
- Is he all I need?
Or with restless agitation and lack of trust:
- Do I untangle myself from him and step away, ripping our bond, wrapping my arms about myself in my despair, turning my back, and doubting his words?
- Do I throw up my hands?
- Do I give up hoping, turning to other things to fill the gaping hole of my need?
- Do I cease expecting his intercession on my behalf?
Even when I do, he is still wrapped around me, eternally committed to me, pulling me back into his twining grasp. He never lets go. He is a faithful God.
“It is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the LORD. It is good for a man to bear the yoke while he is young. Let him sit alone in silence, for the LORD has laid it on him. Let him bury his face in the dust—there may yet be hope. Let him offer his cheek to one who would strike him, and let him be filled with disgrace. For men are not cast off by the Lord forever.Though he brings grief, he will show compassion, so great is his unfailing love. For he does not willingly bring affliction or grief to the children of men” (Lamentations 3:26-33).
Grief comes. Trials befall us. Sometimes we lose it all, all our worldly wealth, maybe our reputations, often those we love. Then there are the minor niggling issues of life on this earth: traffic, broken technology, long lines in stores. Rarely does anything run smoothly.
The effect of the Fall is ever before us. Life is peopled by sinners chafing against other sinners, making bad decisions, choosing wrong company, encountering difficulties.
Silently, we turn our cheek to the smiter; we yield; we bury our face in the dust—perhaps there is hope. God comforts. Here’s how: The bold words in the second passage from Lamentations mean: “to fondle, to soothe, to cherish, to love deeply – like a parent, to be compassionate, to show pity, to be tender, to have mercy.”
Babies evoke this emotion. God gazes upon his people as a father looks upon his small and endearing children. He lifts us into his arms, patting our backs, crooning softly to us, kissing our cheeks, easing our heads onto his shoulder. He carries us about, soothing and rocking and loving.
This is the comfort he gives. We are safe. All is well. He holds us securely.
How has he comforted you lately?
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