Strength for the In-Between

22 The faithful love of the LORD never ends! His mercies never cease. 23 Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning. 24 I say to myself, “The LORD is my inheritance; therefore, I will hope in him!” 25 The LORD is good to those who depend on him, to those who search for him. 26 So it is good to wait quietly for salvation from the LORD. [Lam 3:22-26 NLT]

Things could not have been better.  Tiffany and her family lived in the country in a house built on to an old one-room schoolhouse.  Tiffany’s dad and uncle had built the one-room schoolhouse into a four-bedroom comfortable and welcoming farmhouse for the family.  Tiffany’s favorite part of the house was the view from the kitchen window.  The window looked out onto the apple orchard of the farm next-door.  It was a great life, and Tiffany and her siblings loved every minute of it. It was peaceful and surrounded by nature and beauty.  And the most satisfying part for Tiffany was the crisp, cool apples that were only an arms-length away.  And then one night the unthinkable happened.  In what seemed like only minutes, the farmhouse was engulfed in flames.  Everyone made it out safely, but the home Tiffany loved was now charred black and smoldering.

Jeremiah is known as the weeping prophet, reading the laments in Lamentations helps us to see why.  But there are several verses from Lamentations that are quoted all the time by believers in Jesus.  Maybe it is because we all know what it feels like to have a bad day, month, or even year and those few uplifting verses bolster our faith during those times we desperately need God’s strength to keep us moving forward.

Recently, I have had a good friend who has really been suffering.  Much like Tiffany, she had a downturn in the events in her life.  Things had been moving along well and everything in the future looked bright and exciting and then something happened in her life to change all of that.  It happens to all of us from time to time- in just a blink of an eye, things change!  Very few of us, get through this life without knowing the sting of the unexpected happening.  A life-threatening diagnosis, an accident that moves us from healthy to broken, the death of a loved one, or a decline in the economy.  Things change and all of a sudden, we are standing there wondering what just happened.  We find ourselves in the “in-between.”  “In-between” what was once good, and the hope that good might occur again. 

Why does God allow his children to suffer so?  Why does he allow us, in a moment to go from on top of the mountain, to the depths of despair? Why is it that God sometimes seems to be absent in our present conditions? These or questions like these are asked by most of us at some time in our life.  And Jeremiah, looking around at a desolate Jerusalem is no exception.  Horrible, unthinkable things were happening to his once glorious Jerusalem and its people.

But then Jeremiah does what you and I need to learn to do. For a brief moment, He takes his eyes off of his serious and sad situation, his “in-between” and lifts them onto his loving Lord.  Just a fleeting moment of remembering God’s faithfulness is all it takes for Jeremiah to break into praise.  And this is where we need to find ourselves also.  Remembering God!  At that moment of remembering, Jeremiah writes these remarkable words, “The faithful love of the LORD never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning.”  What words of hope in an unfailing God!  

Jeremiah remembers the past and now has a confident hope in the future.  And all it took was a momentary lifting of his eyes off the present and onto the God who controls the past, present, and future.  Jeremiah was living in the “In-between,” but was placing his future hope in God because of what he knew about the past.  

 What an amazing truth for you and I; every morning we can sense God’s mercies and compassion towards us anew.  Every morning he brings us a new day, new provisions for the day, forgiveness for new sins, and strength for the trials and responsibilities of the day.  Every day we can remember God’s attributes and can be drawn once again to trust in his provision.  Jeremiah goes onto say, “I say to myself, “The LORD is my inheritance; therefore, I will hope in him!” The LORD is good to those who depend on him, to those who search for him. So, it is good to wait quietly for salvation from the LORD.” [Lam 3:24-26 NLT]

Today, wherever you are and whatever you are doing, even if you are living in the “in- between” like Jeremiah, lift your eyes to the Lord and remember his faithfulness, and hope in Him for the future..  

22 The faithful love of the LORD never ends! His mercies never cease. 23 Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning. 24 I say to myself, “The LORD is my inheritance; therefore, I will hope in him!” 25 The LORD is good to those who depend on him, to those who search for him. 26 So it is good to wait quietly for salvation from the LORD. [Lam 3:22-26 NLT]

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