Take a moment to read the entire chapter of Lamentations 4 before reading the devotional below.
Today’s chapter contains some graphic images. Thirsty, hungry children. Soot-covered men who were former princes. Mothers who have cooked their own children just to survive. It’s awful. God had promised prosperity to his people, but he warned them about abandoning him for other people’s ways. Even in the description of the mothers eating their babies, it is a reminder that God’s people have gone so far astray. After all, child sacrifice was normative amongst Israel’s neighboring religions, but strictly forbidden by God.
It finally gets so bad that God is willing to relent. He is no longer angry because the sins of his people have been adequately punished. God’s consequences are always appropriate and fair, so he will not allow more suffering than is necessary. And lest we start comparing ourselves and thanking our lucky stars that we are not like Jerusalem (as the Edomites appeared to be doing), we are reminded that we are no different and our sins will also lead us into this same kind of destruction.
Here’s your freedom for today: even your worst days will not last. Life ebbs and flows and problems come and go. Even if you are suffering terribly right now, whether as a result of your own sin or the general sin-state of the world, it will come to an end. We have that hope as an eternal guarantee. Most of the time, we don’t even have to wait until we get to heaven — God is at work restoring you right now. He has intentions, purposes, and plans for your life. He’s not wasting any time with you, he’s bringing his vision about. All you have to do is keep saying “Yes” when he asks, “Will you come with me?”