Monday Minute With God: What I’m Learning by Brenda Pace
While walking through a local craft fair, my eyes fell upon a piece of stamped jewelry. Typically, I stop to consider such a purchase, but I bought this bracelet without hesitation.
The words from the hymn “Great is Thy Faithfulness” based on Lamentations 3:22-24 jumped from the disk to my heart.
The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases;
his mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
In that moment, I recognized I needed something new—and I’m not talking about a piece of jewelry. No, I needed a new outlook and a new attitude to accompany the new days ahead. I needed a reminder that something new was possible and promised.
Over the next few weeks, with my bracelet tied around my wrist, I dug deeper into this familiar verse in Lamentations.
22 The Lord’s loyal kindness never ceases;
his compassions never end.
23 They are fresh every morning;
your faithfulness is abundant!
24 “My portion is the Lord,” I have said to myself,
so I will put my hope in him.
What I’m Learning
Over the past few years sorrow has made a recurring appearance in my life. I do not write these words to solicit pity or portray drama. Sorrow is a reality this side of heaven. However, compounded loss began to overwhelm and overtake my hope.
Grief is a challenging process. Express too little, you are repressed. Express too much, you are consumed. Elizabeth Kubler Ross gave us the steps of grief, but when you are walking through grief, each step can seem like a mountain to circle, much less to progress forward.
The book of Lamentations is an expression of sorrow over the fall of the city of Jerusalem. The author grieves over the sin that brought such calamity upon God’s people. Yet, in the midst of sorrow come the hope-filled words of Lamentations 3:22-24.
What I discover in the book of Lamentations is a fresh and healthy model to express my grief. As I read the sorrow-filled words of an ancient prophet, I find my own vocabulary for grief. I’m given permission to weep, own my tears, attach words to heartache, and in time–move forward. Shakespeare said it well in Macbeth,
Give sorrow words:
the grief that does not speak
Whispers the o’er-fraught heart,
and bids it break.
Grief is a reaction to loss and change. The spectrum is wide as it encompasses loss from death, military PCS, health, relationships, dreams, or opportunities. In my quest for a happy-ending, I long to see life situations tied up in a pretty bow. Yet, life often brings knots, tangles, and raveled ends. The hope I find in Lamentations chapter three is the remedy for despair: to look for the fresh signs of God’s presence and providence in the midst of my sometimes-messy and grief-stricken circumstances.
Think About It
This past week I have awakened early to watch the sunrise. Each day the scene is a unique display of God’s handiwork. The scene reminds me of the fresh start that each day brings and the new opportunities that await me. I’ve challenged myself to follow this “new and fresh” theme throughout the year by:
- seeking out new experiences
- asking the Lord to give me new thoughts
- learning new perspectives in my everyday routines.
What can you do to bring an awareness of God’s fresh mercy today?
How I’m Learning
Look up verses in different translations.Turning to one of my favorite resources for bible study, www.bible.org, I found the NET Bible translated the word new as fresh in Lamentations 3:23. The NET translation of Lamentations 3:22-23, spoke fresh comfort to my heart.
Keep a journal. My journal is my processing companion. With pen in hand, I allow my emotions to tumble as words on a page. After I have a pen to paper “spill my guts” meeting, I look to Scripture to combat lies or confirm truth.
Take negative thoughts captive. Journal entries become a truth-telling session of taking negative thoughts captive as I write, “This is what I feel, but this is what I know” (2 Corinthians 10:5).
I come away from these times with a sense of fresh and renewed grace for the day. The act of writing thoughts, feelings, prayers and their answers, allows me to experience Lamentations 3:19-21:
“I remember my affliction and my wandering, the bitterness and the gall. I well remember them, and my soul is downcast within me. Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope…”
Embracing God’s fresh mercy is my All In, especially on my hard days.
Pray About It
Thank you Lord, for your faithfulness. Thank you for a new day to live and proclaim your great love. Whatever my circumstances, I declare You are my portion, therefore I will hope in You. Amen.
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