In The Morning

Amanda and I are reasonably regimented when it comes to our kid’s bedtime routine. For our family, we try to get our boys to bed by 8 PM. We are not inflexible about it, but it is a rarity for them to up too late. A couple of weeks ago, we had the Maldonado family over, and the kids were playing well, so we let bedtime slide a little as the adults laughed and conversed. Theo and Cooper were having a ton of fun and must not have realized how late it was. Once the boys emerged from their room, Cooper noticed the change in environment and exclaimed, “Dark! Sun go down!” He was utterly mortified that the world he entered into was dark and not what he expected. Theo must have also been surprised as he quickly shouted to our company, “It’s late, you need to go!” Ceremoniously ending the night and ushering our guests out of our home.
There are moments in our lives that we, too, emerge into a realm of darkness. The world is not as we would have it. We become shocked and upset by what we see. Ideally, we would want our world to be the same every day, but that is seldom the case.
Few people enjoy poetry, and an even smaller amount appreciate Near Eastern dirge poetry like the book of Lamentations. If you have not read the book in a while, I completely understand why you choose to avoid it. There is wisdom to be collected from its pages. In perhaps the darkest moment of Judah’s history, the people mourn and grieve the destruction of their country and capital, Jerusalem, as they are conquered by the Babylonians and endure a brutal siege lasting longer than 18 months. It is very dark and distressing literature to read and would have been all the more horrifying to live it. Yet, there is a ray of hope embedded within the text Lamentations 3:19-26.
Lamentations 3:19-26
I remember my affliction and my wanderings,
the wormwood and the gall!
20 My soul continually remembers it
and is bowed down within me.
21 But this I call to mind,
and therefore, I have hope:
22 The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases;
his mercies never come to an end;
23 they are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
24 “The LORD is my portion,” says my soul,
“therefore, I will hope in him.”
25 The LORD is good to those who wait for him,
to the soul who seeks him.
26 It is good that one should wait quietly
for the salvation of the LORD.
The author of this poem expertly places this juxtaposition on their present condition and their solid foundation. However, they do not stop there as they recall their calamities and troubles; their persistence and resilience come from another source. Their foundation, the reality that they draw strength from, is not on the happenstance of life; it is on God, the basis of their hope. Their resilience comes from knowing the God will not fail them, that His love is never-ending. Consider this writer has endured 18 months of death and destruction. They are not guaranteed the next day, but they know it is better not to wallow in the darkness; it is better to wait patiently. I want us to keep in mind that the blessing does not come from deliverance, and the benefit comes from waiting quietly and seeking God.

Like my boys, sometimes we emerge into darkness and wonder what is happening around us. We can choose to wallow in that misery, to sit down and writhe in the agony that is life. Or we can realize that the night is only temporary and that the sun will rise in just a few hours.

We seek, we wait, we hope in the God that brings the morning.

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