Easy for me to say

Lamentations 3:19-26

Thomas Chisholm was a 19th century Methodist preacher. But only for a year. His poor health kept him from the rigors of ministry. He returned home to work, as best he could, selling insurance. As you might imagine, his life wasn’t easy. Financially, he did not have much. Most of his adult life he endured health issues. But his faith did not waiver.

He wrote more than a thousand religious poems and had several hundred of them published. The one you are probably most familiar with came from his reflection on Lamentations 3. From there, he wrote the words to the hymn “Great is thy Faithfulness.”

“Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow” is the line that gets me every time. That reminds me of something Jesus told us. Tomorrow has its own worries. Get through today, seeking the kingdom and focusing on God’s mercies.

From time to time, I get the impression people want to tell me something. When I encourage them to seek the kingdom and refocus on God’s mercies, they want to. I know they do, but do I really know how bad things are for them? Maybe not. So, they might be thinking, “That’s easy for you to say.”

And it is. I don’t pretend to know how everyone feels and endures their experiences. And it’s not like I don’t have my own difficulties as well. But I will say this. It’s easy for me to say because it gets easier to say.

The prophet Jeremiah could not keep from “continually” thinking about what he experienced. It was his “affliction” and “homelessness” that tore him up (Lamentations 3:19). As bad as you’ve had it, have you ever described your situation as “wormwood and gall”?

But the prophet also made a decision. He chose to call to mind the steadfast love of the Lord. That’s where his hope comes from. It didn’t remove the affliction. It didn’t make his problems disappear. His choice, though, allowed him to see the new mercies of God every morning.

Sometimes, we don’t need a new faith. We have the faith we need. Sometimes, we just need a refocus. A choice to turn our attention more to the steadfast love of God as we walk through our most trying circumstances. But, I know, that’s easy for me to say. Hopefully, it gets easier for you.

Stay blessed…john

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John Fletcher

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