Tuesday, August 7, 2012

7 August: Love is a Choice

I grew up in church singing an 80’s version of ‘TheSteadfast love of the Lord never ceases’. Even now it easily comes to mind, the melody locking the words away in memory forever.  It is based on the words in the Old Testament verses,

“The faithful love of the Lord never ends!
    His mercies never cease.
Great is his faithfulness;
    his mercies begin afresh each morning.” (Lamentations 3 v 22 – 23)

What I didn’t really realise before is where those words are found in the Bible.  So when I read the whole chapter, Lamentations 3, recently my head started spinning.  For just before those faithful, hope –filled, trusting words the same author says of God,

“He has made me chew on gravel.
    He has rolled me in the dust.
Peace has been stripped away,
    and I have forgotten what prosperity is.
I cry out, “My splendor is gone!
    Everything I had hoped for from the Lord is lost!”
 The thought of my suffering and homelessness
    is bitter beyond words.
 I will never forget this awful time,
    as I grieve over my loss.” (Lamentations 3 v 16 – 20).

How can the author, who has just witnessed the horrors of the siege and destruction of his home, who feels such pain coming from the hands of God, so readily turn to that same God is praise?  How can he go on a verse later to say “The Lord is good to those who depend on him, to those who search for him” (v 25) when it seems the Lord has been far from good? 

It appears that we can close our fist at God or lift it high and open in praise and that that decision has little to do with what has happened to us.  It is a choice.  A choice to believe that God is always good.  That we are always loved.  It’s a choice I’m ashamed to say I don’t always make.  But if his mercies are new every day then today I want to start afresh to notice them, to praise God for them.  To lock them away in memory for the dark times.  Maybe you could join me?

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