I clearly remember one day when I hit rock bottom.
Reference: v.2 Bitterly she weeps at night, tears are upon her cheeks. Among all her lovers there is none to comfort her. All her friends have betrayed her; they have become her enemies. (NIV Bible)
Explore: We all go through tough times. One of my greatest moments of despair was when I was going through fertility treatment five years ago. My husband and I had been trying to conceive for a number of years but to no avail. Going on fertility drugs totally messed with my emotions. I’m usually a pretty stable person but I was finding myself crying at the drop of a hat. We hadn’t spoken to anyone about what we were doing and so all our grieving was done in private. I clearly remember one day when I hit rock bottom. Another month had passed and there was still no success and one little thing had happened at work to set me off. I couldn’t bring myself to go home and so I started driving around our local area. I pulled over into a park and just burst into tears. I felt so alone, so empty and that no one – not even my husband – could understand what I was going through. My tears flowed down my face and my sobs filled the car. The Spirit reminded me that everything was in God’s hands but I pleaded with God, ‘Just let me grieve for a moment. I can’t move on just yet.’ As I continued to cry I sensed that there might be someone outside my car watching me. I looked around but could not see anyone. It wasn’t an eerie feeling; just that someone was present a couple of metres away. And so I realised that God was giving me space. He was still there, and would never leave me, but he recognised my need to grieve too.
Application: When you read a book titled ‘Lamentations’ you know that it isn’t going to be a story of happiness and rejoicing. The people of Judah were lamenting about Jerusalem, their destroyed city. It was their home and their security but the enemy had come and turned it to rubble. The Jews continue to use the chapters of this book as part of their worship on annual days of fasting and mourning. Sometimes we can give the wrong impression that God is only about happiness and sunshine. However, when we read through the Bible we see many different shades of God. He knows that there are times of despair in our lives; He sees when we grieve and mourn. Having the book of Lamentations in the Bible reminds us that God does not leave us when we are unhappy. He loves us, comforts us and truly understands what we are going through. When we go through times of despair, may we not shut God out but draw on that overwhelming love that endures forever.
Prayer: Lord, when hardship comes we tend to try to fix things ourselves. May we turn to You at all times and have faith that You are there for us. Amen.
When have you felt times of despair? Can you see where God was present?
This article was written by Linda Bailey
Linda started theological studies in 1999 in Australia. After working for ten years in various church ministries, she now works as the breakfast producer at 89.9 LightFM - the Christian radio station in Melbourne, Australia. She writes blogs every day about passages she is currently reading in the Bible. Follow her on Google Plus +Linda Bailey or Facebook by clicking the like button on the right of this page.