The mercies of the Lord are new every morning.
The church is a short distance from home, so I usually walk there. Sometimes I haven’t taken a flashlight with me and when I get out of a meeting at night, a dreary night, I can hit a place of complete darkness. A bit of fear rises in my heart, because I can’t really see where I’m going. I’m walking by memory, rather than by sight.
I look forward to when I round the corner and even if the porch light of the house isn’t on, there is light in the windows. Feeling more safe, I walk toward that light.
Our ancestors possessed that kind of night all the time, and so with gladness they embraced the dawn. With that, they understood the darkness of their sin, and with every day they arose to embrace not just the light of day, but the light of their salvation, Jesus Christ. Every day they rose with a new hope. Every day they rose from sleep, it was a reminder of the risen Christ – he arose not just from sleep, but from death, to bring us new life.
Likewise, Jeremiah, the author, in Lamentations 3.22-23 tells us that God’s mercies are new every morning. Lamentations is a book of laments, expressions of sorrow. Yet suddenly hope is voiced, because of God’s unfailing love. Because of God’s covenant love – a love that endures, that never fails, that never leaves us, that never cuts us off.Suffering is a part of life.
It doesn’t matter if one is Christian or not, there will be difficult times in our lives. Being a Christian does not exempt us from suffering and sorrow. Eugene Peterson in his introduction to the Book of Lamentations in The Message says that Jeremiah neither explains suffering nor offers a program for the elimination of suffering.
Lamentations keeps company with the extensive biblical witness that gives dignity to suffering by insisting that God enters our suffering and is companion to our suffering.
With the dawn of each day, Jesus brings new hope. Jesus is our hope. Jesus is the star come out of Jacob (Numbers 24.17), the sun of righteousness (Malachi 4.2), the bright Morning Star (Revelation 22.16). And he brings eternal hope as he promises a city that will need no sun or moon to shine on it, “for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp” (Rev. 21.23).
Sometimes we figuratively walk through dark places, places where we don’t see God, but we keep walking, sometimes more by memory than sight. Sometimes we see the light in the distance, and we just keep walking toward it, knowing that one day, God’s light will once again dawn upon our lives.