Lent Devotions: Day 23
Read: Lamentations 3:16-24
The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases. (v. 22)
I was a competitive swimmer growing up. While water was like a second home to me, I still needed to breathe. There were many races where I was sure that I would never get enough air in my lungs again. The fiery pressure in my chest would build and each quick snatch at air was only enough to keep going until I would finally finish the race, breathless and gasping. I felt I would faint for lack of air, until my heart gradually slowed, my gasps turned into deep inhalations, and my chest filled again with sweet, abundant oxygen.
Even though I knew I would breathe again, it certainly didn’t feel like it halfway through the race. Likewise, Jeremiah is in the middle of the pool of prophecy with a long swim ahead. He’s wondering if he’ll ever get another breath: “I have forgotten what happiness is” (v.17). But Jeremiah knows that just above the surface, there is sweet, sweet air. He is able to say, “My teeth grind on gravel” (v.16), and in the next breath say, “I have hope” (v.21).
We see in Jeremiah how despair and hope may stand side by side: “My soul…is bowed down within me. But this I call to mind…The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases” (v.20-22).
The promises of the Lord endure. —Cody Raak
Prayer: Father, do not abandon us in hopelessness, but open our eyes to your ever-new mercies.