Carrying on with the theme of hope…
Lamentations 3 has always been one of my go-to chapters when I get discouraged. Reading that first line where the prophet says, “I am the man who has seen affliction by the rod of His wrath.”
The book of Lamentations is about the destruction of Jerusalem by Babylon, and every time I get discouraged, I try to remind myself that none of the obstacles that I ever face are as terrible as the events leading to such devastating words as “even when I cry and shout, He shuts out my prayer” or “He has also broken my teeth with gravel, and covered me with ashes.”
At first, reading this chapter, one might ask how it could possibly bring encouragement. Well, true. Prior to verse 20, it’s definitely a valley. But then, you read these powerful words.
What an amazing thought, to be renewed every day. And, to have the promise that we are not consumed.
For the journaling today:
- Circle the phrases: never ceases, never come to an end, new every morning, and I will hope in him. I chose blue for this because blue skies in the morning always bring hope of a brighter day.
- Lightly sketch a sunrise over the text. I kept mine muted because I didn’t want the sky to take over the sun. Also, when I shaded, I tried to make “I will hope in Him” stand out and didn’t add much shading there. Now, when I look at that passage, it’s the first thing I see.
- Add some hearts coming down from the sky to the horizon. I actually didn’t take this to the horizon because I drew the line below verse 24, so my hearts stop right as it says the steadfast love of the Lord. A lot of times, I picture his love as raining down on us and covering us, so I wanted to continue that thought.
The best part of waking up is ______________.
I bet I know what you’re thinking. How many of you would have filled in that blank with the rest of that old Folgers commercial even if I hadn’t posted the YouTube link?
That, my friends, is how easy it is to get the world ingrained into our minds. One little jingle, one little endearing picture of a puppy or a horse, one catchy lyric.
This is a post for me as much as anyone. I need to work harder to be of the world and not in it. I don’t know about you, but I’ve gotten to a point where I don’t even turn the TV or my radio on anymore. It’s nothing for the DJ to play a song with an inappropriate sexual theme or one filled with curse words. Notice–not just with “a” curse word, but filled with them. One of these is the insanely popular “Uptown Funk.”
I see Christian friends post links to videos with people dancing to this song on Facebook all the time, and I just ask–have you seen the lyrics? I didn’t really pay much attention until my son came in one day singing the first line. Of course, I went right away and listened to the song, and I was like, wait a minute! But the damage is done. Whoever has played that song in front of him has already put that song in his head. And not only that catchy tune–lines like “Girls, hit your hallelujah, ’cause uptown funk gonna give it to you,” “I’m too hot (hot d___),” and “Got to kiss myself, I’m so pretty.”
Here’s another one. It’s hard not to like Taylor Swift. And my six-year-old daughter LOVES her. She wants to BE her. And at first glance, the song “Shake it Off” has a pretty decent theme. But even sweet and innocent Taylor sings about the “fella over there with the hella good hair.” Yes, hella, which from research seems to come from “helluva”, or “hell of a.”
Even “Our Song,” which seems so cute and harmless, can pose a worldly threat. One of my daughter’s favorite lines is that one where she says, “’cause it’s late and his momma don’t know.” I keep telling her that’s not really acceptable–if it’s late and this momma don’t know, when I find out (and I will), there will be consequences.
So, rant over. Back to the blank. Here’s mine. The best part of waking up is that God’s promises are new every morning. I continually mess up with this whole worldly thing. Sometimes I get distracted by funny videos or catchy songs with inappropriate themes. But God has given me this awesome gift–a daily reset. And that’s something I can teach my children.
Lamentations 3:22-24 says this:
Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed,
Because His compassions fail not.
They are new every morning;
Great is Your faithfulness.
“The Lord is my portion,” says my soul,
“Therefore I hope in Him!”
Thank goodness for this hope. If I’ve made the choice to fill my mind with garbage yesterday, I can wake up this morning with a clear, fresh start.
Where are your thoughts this morning? Hope you have a blessed day!