Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Lamentations 3

I'm reading a book right now called: Beyond Ordinary: When a Good Marriage just isn't Good Enough by Justin and Trisha Davis.  It's a very good book and one I would recommend.  They tell the story of their journey from an ordinary marriage to a bad marriage to an affair and back beyond ordinary to an extraordinary marriage.  It's a challenge to me to keep the communication lines open between D and me and to first and foremost have a close relationship with God depending on Him to meet all my needs.

Last night I was reading the chapter called Beyond Ordinary Healing and it was their journey through counseling and relearning the ropes of marriage and most of all looking to God and being willing to have themselves destroyed so they could be rebuilt into the people God meant them to be.  One of their friends told them he was praying Lamentations 3 over them; particularly verse 16.  Now what does verse 16 say?  "He has made me grind my teeth on gravel.  He has rolled me in the dust." NLT  Not a particularly nice, cozy, and loving verse.  But the point was: this friend was praying for God to break them so they would be molded in His image.

So this morning I had to read Lamentations 3.  It's got some good stuff in there.  Listen:

"He shot his arrows deep into my heart.  My own people laugh at me.  All day long they sing their mocking songs.  He has filled me with bitterness.  He has given me a cup of deep sorrow to drink.  He has made me grind my teeth on gravel.  He has rolled me in the dust.  Peace has been stripped away, and I have forgotten what prosperity is.  I cry out, 'My splendor is gone!  Everything I had hoped for from the Lord is lost!'  The thought of my suffering and homelessness is bitter beyond words.  I will never forget this awful time, as I grieve over my loss." (vs 13-20 NLT)

Sounds perfectly awful, but listen even more closely:

"YET I STILL DARE TO HOPE WHEN I REMEMBER THIS:


The unfailing love of the Lord never ends!  By his mercies we have been kept from complete destruction.  Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each day.  I say to myself. 'The Lord is my inheritance; therefor, I will hope in him!'  The Lord is wonderfully good to those who wait for him and seek him.  So it is good to wait quietly for salvation from the Lord.  And it is good for the young to submit to the yoke of his discipline. Let them sit alone in silence beneath the Lord's demands.  Let them lie face down in the dust; then at last there is hope for them.  Let them turn the other cheek to those who strike them.  let them accept the insults of the their enemies.  For the Lord does not abandon anyone forever.  though he brings grief, he also shows compassion according to the greatness of his unfailing love.  For he does not enjoy hurting people or causing them sorrow." (21-33 NLT)

I hope these verses can soak into your soul and encourage you when it feels like your teeth are being broken in the gravel and life is a struggle.  They encourage me and challenge me to allow God to do His work in my life so I can come forth believing in His mercies and grace.

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