By Kris Bruun
Remember my affliction and my wanderings … My soul continually remembers…and is bowed down within me. (Lamentations 3:19-20)
I admit it. There are days when the only reason I go on is that it would be too much work to quit. I guess that means I haven’t really lost all hope, because people who have lost all hope don’t worry about telling other people that they quit – they just quit without announcing it.
There are days when I am angry at myself for sins committed and omitted, and days when I am angry at God for allowing my life to include the pains of a toxic family background, loneliness, and failure. I’m not even grateful for my gifts, because they seem so inadequate to the task of survival. Maybe life isn’t supposed to be easy, but couldn’t it at least be less stressful?
But this I call to mind and therefore I have hope. The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end … (Lamentations 3:21-22)
Reading this passage reminds me that hope is not necessarily about feeling, but about being spiritually grounded. I may still feel tired or miserable or regretful or depressed, but the Word of my Lord assures me that my life has purpose, that somewhere within the nooks and crannies of my grubby existence, God has embedded a plan for my life. The woman with the flow of blood was exhausted physically, financially, and emotionally, but she thought, “If I can just touch the hem of his garment…”
I touch the hem of his garment when I connect with my church family in worship. I touch the hem of his garment when I pray over the Word. I touch the hem of his garment when, in the evening, I give all the burdens to the Lord, recalling the words that I once read on a card, “You might as well let me take over now – I’m going to be up all night anyway. –God”
His mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning … (Lamentations 3:22-23)
Even if my depressed self has no realistic expectation that tomorrow will be any different from today, still on a spiritual level, I have hope. The steadfast love of the Lord grounds my life, and that is enough.