When we are at our lowest, sometimes it is hard to hear someone say, “Hang in there!” and try to cheer us up. This last Sunday, though, I couldn’t help but jump ahead in the story of the Old Testament prophets. After the Hebrew nation had fallen from their days of glory when Kings David and Solomon ruled, after the Babylonians had destroyed their magnificent temple and hauled away the people to a foreign land, Jeremiah wrote the book of Lamentations. In this short book, Jeremiah, the “weeping prophet”, called the Hebrew people to grieve their sin and lament their suffering.
And then Jeremiah tells the people to “Hang in there!” God still loves you and has good plans for you. God is not done yet. My favorite verses from Lamentations:
The LORD's kindness never fails!
If he had not been merciful,
we would have been destroyed.
The LORD can always be trusted
to show mercy each morning.
The original translation says God supplies a new and different mercy and compassion every morning. An online age calculator tells me God has already given me 22,400 mornings. I truly am amazed that I have made it through that many! I’ve needed God’s mercy ever one of those mornings. And I’ve needed a new dose of mercy many afternoons and nights too!
When we are overwhelmed, tired, or depressed, it can be hard to hear another person try to cheer us up with, “Hang in there!” We may even want to claw their eyes out. But I can’t help but think God is whispering it to us too.