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Jeremiah’s Hope

Lamentations is Jeremiah’s book of weeping for the calamities that have happened to his country and his people. But tucked in there he suddenly spills out what has happened to him personally: ‘Those who are my enemies for no reason hunted me down like a bird. They forced me alive into a pit and threw stones on me. Water rose above my head. I thought, I am finished! (Lamentations 3:52-54).

Jeremiah tells us this story somewhere else – how he was taken and lowered on ropes down into a deep pit where he sank right up to his armpits in the mud at the bottom. His life was saved by an honourable Ethiopian army officer who personally confronted the king: ‘My lord, King! What these men have done to Jeremiah the prophet is evil! They have thrown him into the cistern; and he is likely to die there where he is, because of the famine, for there is no more food in the city’ (Jeremiah 38: 6-9). Thirty soldiers were sent to rescue Jeremiah and his life was saved.

This is the ‘public’ account of what happened and the rescue. But in Lamentations, Jeremiah is letting out his feelings about the experience. This is terror, trauma and torture. We’re hearing about the soldiers who tossed stones down the well on top of him, and how Jeremiah, totally trapped, nearly drowned.

We are often like Jeremiah: we have a ‘public’ account of what’s happening to us. When people ask how things are we might answer, “Well, things aren’t too good at the moment”, and the response is, “Oh, I’m sorry to hear that!” End of conversation.

But inside, in that place where no-one else sees, we may be nearly overwhelmed by trauma and fear; terror of the future, despairing of ever getting out of the pit we’re in. That’s just where these verses come in: ‘But in my mind I keep returning to something that gives me hope’.

Jeremiah’s raw honesty about this experience means a lot to me. God has seen me and my family through times so bad I used to wonder whether they would ever come to an end. It took time – and it often does – and it needed God to be there ‘every morning’ for me. But God’s faithfulness and His love never come to an end.

We don’t have to have trauma anywhere on the horizon. Just day by day by day we can sing and look to God, who’s there day after day after day for us, every morning, with hope.

Prayer: Thank You, God, that You’re there every morning, day after day for me, with Your love and Your faithfulness. I welcome You today! Amen.


 

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Scripture

"But in my mind I keep returning to something, something that gives me hope - that the grace of Adonai [God] is not exhausted, that his compassion has not ended, On the contrary, they are new every morning! How great is your faithfulness!"
Lamentations 3:21-23, Complete Jewish Bible (David Stern)

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Today's Writer

Sue Griffiths An English teacher and Counsellor by trade, I came to the Modular School at Glyndley Manor in 1999 at a time of deep personal distress and I found healing and restoration for my own life. I now live in Northumberland and have 3 adult children and 3 grandchildren. With my husband Richard, I am a part of the Associate Ministry Team at Ellel Grange. That’s where I want to be: committed to helping others to find that same restoration and freedom in the abundant life God has for us in Jesus.

Sue Griffiths


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