Weird Times: “Wormwood and Gall”

We live in weird times, don’t we? In my area we’re still pretty locked down. I have family and friends who are unemployed. All our travel plans are cancelled indefinitely. We have masks laying around the house and in each of our cars (thanks to Kathy who made them). There are riots in downtown Portland sometimes. I often have this nagging surrealistic sensation in the back of my consciousness. Maybe you do too.

But this morning I was in Lamentations for my devotion time and I came across this passage. It struck me that what the writer of Lamentations was going through when he wrote this was 1,000 times worse than what I’m going through now.

Remember my affliction and my wanderings,
    the wormwood and the gall!
My soul continually remembers it
    and is bowed down within me.
But this I call to mind,
    and therefore I have hope:

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;
    his mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning;
    great is your faithfulness.
“The Lord is my portion,” says my soul,
    “therefore I will hope in him.”

The Lord is good to those who wait for him,
    to the soul who seeks him.
It is good that one should wait quietly
    for the salvation of the Lord.
It is good for a man that he bear
    the yoke in his youth.

Let him sit alone in silence
    when it is laid on him;
let him put his mouth in the dust—
    there may yet be hope;
let him give his cheek to the one who strikes,
    and let him be filled with insults.

For the Lord will not
    cast off forever,
but, though he cause grief, he will have compassion
    according to the abundance of his steadfast love;

Lamentations 3:19-32

I will hope in Him.

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