“Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, ‘The LORD is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.'” Lamentations 3:22
When I think of this verse, I can’t help but think about the Afghan woman who called our friend recently who was in the states. She reported that her husband had just been beheaded in front of her and her children because he refused to deny Christ. I simply cannot imagine her pain or her loss. And perhaps her pride in knowing she married someone who loved Jesus even unto death.
But she now will face an uncertain future raising her kids with the Taliban in control, marked as a follower of Christ. Can God’s love, mercy, and compassion sustain her and prevent her from being consumed? Because of God’s character and the size of his portions of grace, I believe God can.
Jeremiah spoke Lamentations 3:22-24, sandwiched in the middle of his third lament. In the first twenty verses, the weeping Prophet lays out his distress. He speaks of the afflictions he’s endured, his feelings of aloneness from God, the darkness he has endured, he says he feels his bones have been broken, he feels walled in, God ignores his prayer, he speaks of God mangling him, his pain of being made fun of by others. Some say this lament is a portrait of Christ.
But then in verse 22, we see a change – a remembrance. He recalls truth and his distress turns to hope – “yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope.” Verses 22-24 are Jeremiah’s confession of faith and trust in God’s character! He recalls God’s great love and due to the vastness of God’s love, though Jeremiah feels overwhelmed, he knows God will not fail him. God has a character of holy compassion, holy faithfulness, holy love.
All of us at one time or another have asked the question of God, “Why?” Each of us has been at some point discouraged and questioned God’s love or concern over us or attention to us. Okay, maybe I am the only one. Over my life, I have realized choosing to remain here stifles growth, hope, or flourishing. The daughter of faith, the son of courage, chooses to do what Jeremiah did. He shifted his gaze up and looked for God’s bigger perspective, larger purpose, and greater vision. When he looked up, he again remembered and brought to mind the un-shifting, un-contaminated character of God. Jeremiah confessed God’s love, God’s compassion, God’s faithfulness, and God’s provision that far surpassed his despair.
No matter our disappointments or circumstances, God’s compassions never fail. We will not be consumed if we place our hearts, our souls, and our lives in the hands of a God who is trustworthy. Brothers and sisters, let’s take our distress, our laments, and our disappointments and say aloud with the weeping Prophet, “Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, ‘The LORD is my portion; therefore, I will wait for him.’”
Notice that Yahweh God is the portion. The largeness of God in His grace can offer the sustaining portion to the Afghan sister in Christ who lost her husband through beheading, and He can give you the portion you need to walk through your pain and disappointments as well. God is not limited. He is huge and there are enough portions for each of His sons and daughters.