“For the Lord will not reject forever.” Lamentations iii:31
No night is forever. Every season of darkness and suffering, regardless of its terror and bitterness, will come to an end. The hope of a joyful daybreak can help us endure any pain.
When prophet Jeremiah and his people were defeated and taken captive after a catastrophic war, he was so traumatized that he wished his head were waters and his eyes, a fountain of tears so that he could weep night and day for the slain among his people. But as he meditated on God’ goodness and sovereign power, he understood that nothing would ever come to pass in his life without God’s knowledge. He therefore concluded that it was God who had laid a yoke upon him. The best thing he could do was to bear it and wait silently for the salvation of the LORD (iii. 26-28).
When one is caught in the vice grip of an oppressor, the best thing he can do is to silently endure the torment. Any attempt to break free might only tighten one’s bonds. Such times of distress are singularly useful because they reveal our helplessness. Besides, we become aware that God alone can deliver us. The LORD will not reject forever. What better thing can we do than to wait silently for Yahweh?
This is easier said than done. For those who temporarily celebrate their triumph over us might inflict us with pain. At times, we have to give our cheek to the smiter and drink deep from the cup of reproach (v. 30). At other times, we may have to endure solitary confinement, with our mouth in the dust (v. 28, 29). Who can endure such extreme experiences of sorrow, defeat and pain without first seeing God’s invisible hand in the glove of our personal stories? If God has laid this yoke upon us, He will bring an end to it. The LORD will not reject forever. For if He causes grief, then He will have compassion according to His abundant loving kindness. (v. 31, 32)
Dear child of God, hang on! The Lord’s deliverance is at hand. In the mean time, do not waste your sorrows. “Let us examine and probe our ways, and let us return to the LORD. Let us lift up our heart and hands toward God in heaven.” (v. 40, 41). In due time, the goodness and salvation of our LORD will dawn upon us.