I don’t know about you, but there’s been times in my life where it feels like even my own Creator was against me.
Not true. I know. But it still felt that way.
During those periods when I related to Charlie Brown, who always got a rock in his trick-or-treat bag, I just couldn’t figure out why things weren’t coming together the way I wanted them to come together.
I mean, weren’t we just supposed to tell Him the desires of our hearts and He would grant our wishes? Isn’t God like a genie that appears if we rub the gold lantern?
Except there’s one hitch: His plan is always better.
A friend of mine has been praying over a rather big and different position change in his organization. The original job he wanted was given to someone else and there was a period of about an hour where he thought he had been passed up and it might be time to move-on.
However, the job his superiors had in mind for him was even bigger than the job he originally desired.
He asked the Lord for hamburger but instead, he got a filet mignon.
During the times that are simply just hard, it’s even harder to sit in the waiting, to remember there has to somewhere, somehow, be good. We are told that because we chose to follow Him, He promises good things to us (Romans 8:28).
But He also promises that in this world, we will have trouble (John 16:33).
Some at our own hand and some at the hands of others—but here’s the best thing: His mercies are new each day.
Each morning, we arise white as snow and with a blank-slate.
His compassions never fail.
This is our last session of this first round, friends. I’m not sure yet when the second session begins but as soon as I know specifics, I will post an invitation to anyone who would like to join us. It’s a beautiful group.
Let’s continue on with Lectio Davina…
Please pick a translation (and yes, if you want to do both translations, go ahead!) and work through the steps of Lectio. Begin by praying that God will search your heart and open your mind to new teachings you are ready to learn. To review, the steps of Lectio Davina are:
First Reading: (Lectio) – Read the passage. What word or phrase stands out to me?
Second Reading: (Meditatio) – Read again. What in the text touches my life or relates to it in some way?
Third Reading: (Oratio) – Read again. What is God inviting me to do or be? How is He asking me to respond?
Fourth Reading: (Contemplatio) Read again and rest in God’s loving presence.
Lamentations 3:19-33 (New International Version, 1984)
I remember my affliction and my wandering,
the bitterness and the gall.
20 I well remember them,
and my soul is downcast within me.
21 Yet this I call to mind
and therefore I have hope:
22 Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail.
23 They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
24 I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion;
therefore I will wait for him.”
25 The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him,
to the one who seeks him;
26 it is good to wait quietly
for the salvation of the Lord.
27 It is good for a man to bear the yoke
while he is young.
28 Let him sit alone in silence,
for the Lord has laid it on him.
29 Let him bury his face in the dust—
there may yet be hope.
30 Let him offer his cheek to one who would strike him,
and let him be filled with disgrace.
31 For men are not cast off
by the Lord forever.
32 Though he brings grief, he will show compassion,
so great is his unfailing love.
33 For he does not willingly bring affliction
or grief to the children of men.
19-21 I’ll never forget the trouble, the utter lostness,
the taste of ashes, the poison I’ve swallowed.
I remember it all—oh, how well I remember—
the feeling of hitting the bottom.
But there’s one other thing I remember,
and remembering, I keep a grip on hope:
22-24 God’s loyal love couldn’t have run out,
his merciful love couldn’t have dried up.
They’re created new every morning.
How great your faithfulness!
I’m sticking with God (I say it over and over).
He’s all I’ve got left.
25-27 God proves to be good to the man who passionately waits,
to the woman who diligently seeks.
It’s a good thing to quietly hope,
quietly hope for help from God.
It’s a good thing when you’re young
to stick it out through the hard times.
28-30 When life is heavy and hard to take,
go off by yourself. Enter the silence.
Bow in prayer. Don’t ask questions:
Wait for hope to appear.
Don’t run from trouble. Take it full-face.
The “worst” is never the worst.
31-33 Why? Because the Master won’t ever
walk out and fail to return.
If he works severely, he also works tenderly.
His stockpiles of loyal love are immense.
He takes no pleasure in making life hard,
in throwing roadblocks in the way:
Sit in the cusp of His hands while you wait. His mercies are new each day and His compassions never fail.
See you Thursday for our last session…