Join me today for another in a series of Morning Walks.
“But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness, ‘The Lord is my portion,’ says my soul, ‘therefore I will hope in him’.” Lamentations 3: 21-24 NIV
In my devotions on this passage today, the writer asked, “Which words and phrases speak to you?” That passage has been life-sustaining for me in the past eight plus years. I had focused on individual words as prayers of hope, provision, and gratitude, so when I read it, I smiled.
But this time, a new phrase popped up from the page: “My portion.”
So this morning I pondered that phrase and walked backwards beginning at verse 24. “The Lord is my portion…therefore I will hope in him.”
Portion is often used in the context of diets. My college roommate and I were always on diets and could rattle off calories with more accuracy than information from our textbooks. So I knew about portions; measuring and weighing to assure adequate amounts and nutrients, and sufficient daily intake (which we had no problem arriving at).
But what did the writer, often assumed to be Jeremiah, of Lamentations mean when he said, “The Lord is my portion…therefore I will hope in him,”? Though we can’t study this five-chapter book of poems in detail, let’s summarize what Jeremiah saw leading him to that declaration. The Jews were in exile–in punishment for their rebellion, and experiencing despair, grief, and suffering. Despite his laments, he says, the Lord is my sufficiency for today’s needs. El Shaddai—The All Sufficient God is my portion; therefore I hope in Him.
We are not in the disastrous situation the Israelites were in. But people today have personal calamities- illness, death of loved ones, and financial disasters. Our never-ending changes in lifestyle present challenges and frustration. El Shaddai—The All Sufficient God— sustains us—He may not fix or resolve according to our wishes, but He sustains us. He lives up to His name.
The conclusion about portion and hope wasn’t an empty phrase. As I walked backwards reading, the writer could say those words because he knew (and I have personally experienced):
- Despite the calamity and circumstances, God is ever faithful: never wavering, consistent in character, never failing to be present. His character didn’t change with difficult circumstances then, or now.
- God bestowed never-ending mercies: His mercies and compassionate care don’t evaporate, expire, or run out. He offers us personally hand-crafted mercies for today. No, we don’t receive day-old mercies-yesterday’s mercies, like a leftover meal to reheat, but fresh and personal ones for today’s needs and agenda.
- God’s steadfast love is everlasting, never-ending, and 24/7. His unfailing love gives security and sustains us, so we don’t fall apart, or fall prey to negative thinking and discouragement.
“Yet this I call to mind”. He remembered the past.
“…and therefore I have hope” for the present and the future.
Not wishful thinking, or “maybe”, but regardless of the catastrophic situation, he could depend on the reliability and truth of God’s love, mercies, and faithfulness.
Did you notice we walked in a circle? The writer first recalled and introduced hope and ends with hope. And on every step we took in this passage-and take daily–walking forward or backward there are sustaining truths. Yes, He is our portion—all sufficient, and in Him we have hope.
What shoes are you wearing today where you need to walk in hope?
How does this passage offer hope for you?
Photo from Pixabay
Click and take a few minutes to listen to the well-known hymn, “Great is Thy Faithfulness” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0k1WhFtVp0o