37 Who can command and have it done, if the Lord has not ordained it? 38 Is it not from the mouth of the Most High that good and bad come? 39 Why should any who draw breath complain about the punishment of their sins?
40 Let us test and examine our ways, and return to the LORD. 41 Let us lift up our hearts as well as our hands to God in heaven. 42 We have transgressed and rebelled, and you have not forgiven.
43 You have wrapped yourself with anger and pursued us, killing without pity; 44 you have wrapped yourself with a cloud so that no prayer can pass through. 45 You have made us filth and rubbish among the peoples.
46 All our enemies have opened their mouths against us; 47 panic and pitfall have come upon us, devastation and destruction. 48 My eyes flow with rivers of tears because of the destruction of my people.
49 My eyes will flow without ceasing, without respite, 50 until the LORD from heaven looks down and sees. 51 My eyes cause me grief at the fate of all the young women in my city.
52 Those who were my enemies without cause have hunted me like a bird; 53 they flung me alive into a pit and hurled stones on me; 54 water closed over my head; I said, "I am lost."
55 I called on your name, O LORD, from the depths of the pit; 56 you heard my plea, "Do not close your ear to my cry for help, but give me relief!" 57 You came near when I called on you; you said, "Do not fear!"
58 You have taken up my cause, O Lord, you have redeemed my life.
“I have forgotten what happiness is.”
Desolation, bitterness, and taunting. These are the images from Lamentations. It’s no shock that we don’t read Lamentations often.
But it’s there. And we need it.
There are times in life that we feel like the author of this passage. Naturally there are days of joy and elation, but sometimes we can’t even remember what those days feel like. On this day, we read from Lamentations and remember that even God has felt that kind of pain.
Message provided by the Miller Summer Youth Institute.