Leah Smith, Student Ministry Support
Specifically Lamentations 5:1-22
If I could pair myself with any prophet of this time it would be Jeremiah. We share a heartfelt discontent for the things happening in the world around us. I can picture us sitting together crying as we express our sadness to one another and to God, mainly because I already do this with my husband. My heart absolutely breaks when reading this passage not only for what happened to the people of Judah (due to sin of course) but because of what could have been, if the people only chose to listen to God. This is exactly how Jeremiah felt. He was known as “the weeping prophet” not only because of the tremendous pain and loss he suffered, but more so for the people around him and ultimately the entire nation. He developed such a genuine care for the city and those living in it, and innately had such compassion for conveying God’s plan and purpose for His people.
Disobedience to God is sin, and sin separates us from God, which leads to pain and suffering and utter calamity and destruction. We must be cognizant of what is happening in the world around us so that we as a Church can stand up and do something. We must take what has been done and let it be a lesson learned. However, it is crucial to go to God first and pray to him just as Jeremiah did. Verse 16 states, “The crown has fallen from our head. Woe to us, for we have sinned! Because of this our hearts are faint, because of these things our eyes grow dim.” I have to admit that I do not often pray like this when I am facing tremendous trials. I tend to disregard the sin that surrounds me for a minute and pray a prayer that at times sounds like this: “God, what is going on? Why are you deaf to my prayers? Do you not see that I am in distress here? Do you neglect to help the people in this nation that are suffering so? When is this going to stop?! Please do something!!”
Am I alone in this? I do not think so. I could picture Jeremiah, as well as the people of Judah, praying something similar to this as they may have felt as though God had abandoned them. Of course, God isn’t abandoning us and he would not stay angry forever. His grace is overwhelming, and for that we have hope in our Father. God has a plan for our future but we must not become a slave to sin. This passage in Lamentations contains a wealth of spiritual wisdom that can help us better navigate through “the valley of the shadow of death” that the majority of us experience today. Our grief and pain for this world should turn us to God, not away from Him and He will, in His perfect time, restore this nation that He has created.