Yet Hope returns when I remember this one thing- the Lord’s unfailing love and mercy still continue, fresh as the morning as sure as the sunrise. Lamentations 3:21-23 (GNT)
There aren’t very many things in our
ever changing world that seem to hold fast and remain the same day after day. Two things that have remained untouched by time my entire life are the sunrise and my grandmother’s house.
My Mimi lived in the same house in a tiny town in central Alabama since 1940ish. When she moved there she was in her early 20’s with one tiny tot or maybe two. It was a two bedroom house that they added onto over the years. But in my lifetime I could always count on the old swingset in the backyard to be there. The tree she planted as a young adult had grown into a massive oak that seemed unchanging and committed to outliving us all. The pale blue walls and carpet of her living room were always inviting in a calming sort of way.
Two years ago my grandmother finally went to be with Jesus after 99 years of fighting the good fight and showing all the rest of us what it means to be faithful. After that the house was sold, and I found that it only remains and unchanged in my memory.
But the sunrise. There’s never been a day the sun has not peeked around the earth. There have been days when I wished with every fiber of my being that it would not rise. But it breaks into the sky relentlessly. Every day. Without
…the Lord’s unfailing love and mercy still continue fresh as the morning as sure as the sunrise….
Still. The word “still” catches me. It implies despite the circumstances. Even though the hardship. In the face of pain and suffering. Still. Still the Lord‘s love and mercy continue. As sure as the sun rise.
Are you there in that place where it feels as if it’s not true? I recall those bitter days. My heart could barely believe it, but it wanted desperately for it to be true- for His love to still be there and for hope to return.
It doesn’t matter if we feel that the sun will rise or not. The sun is not swayed a bit by our questions. He is faithful to make his trek across the sky and to break through the darkness over every circumstance. And so the Lord‘s love and mercy do not depend on our feelings. He will break through as fresh as the morning. And as sure as the sunrise!
Yet hope returns when I remember this one thing…
The Hebrew word there for remember is “ashib .” It comes from the root word “shub” which means to turn back or return. It also means to make restitution, recompense, or to restore. All packed up in that one Hebrew word there is the promise that if we will remember this one thing, if we will turn our hearts and our minds back towards God’s unfailing love, then we will be restored!
And all the sudden hope floods in-
3 Therefore tell the people: This is what the Lord Almighty says: ‘Return to me,’ declares the Lord Almighty, ‘and I will return (shubu) to you,’ says the Lord Almighty.
There are so many things in life we cannot control. Even the things that seem stable almost all of our days will eventually change. Except for the steadfast, unfailing love and mercy of the Lord!
But what we can control is the direction of our thoughts. He is calling us to turn our hearts and minds back to Him!
So today, October 8th, as I think of my sweet girl with soft, blonde curls and I remember her and miss her, hope floods in, and I know that this is not the end of the story.
This verse has been churning around in my heart since the Divine women’s conference where it was the theme a few weeks ago. I wrote this blog last Saturday in preparation for today. Last night late we arrived at the beach. I did not set an alarm, but God in his faithfulness woke me up at exactly the moment the sun was peeking around the earth. I watched the beautiful sunrise and marveled. It was another 20 minutes before I remembered what I had written the blog about for today. The whispers are there. The love called beckoning us to turn our hearts towards him. As sure as the sun rise...