Lamentations 3:19-23 I remember my affliction and my wandering, the bitterness and the gall. I well remember them, and my soul is downcast within me. Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.
We are living through perilous times in America. Just watching the news is so immeasurably sad that it is easier to turn it off and hunker down until changes come.
The numbers of the dead from the pandemic may seem small relative to the hundreds of millions who inhabit the nation, but each one represented someone irreplaceable to their families and friends. As the nation begins to reopen, attempting to still the loss of jobs and businesses, no one knows what the future of the virus will bring or when the nation will be out of the storm of this plague.
Some of our cities are once again in the maelstrom that accompanies the senseless death. A black man pleading for his life as he laid on the street with someone’s knee on his neck, still there after he lost consciousness, brought race to the forefront of the news again. That this has happened while people of all races still mourned the untimely death of a young black male jogger has sent a pillar of hopelessness into urban America.
Yet, there were hopeful signs to be seen, as well. On Facebook and on the news, the numbers of young people of all races marching together and calling for an end to racial violence gives us hope that the next generation may be better at righting the wrongs of the past. Volunteers of all ages feeding front-line medical workers and applause ringing from rooftops in New York in honor of first responders give us hope.
Jeremiah the prophet had witnessed the destruction of Jerusalem and the exiling of his people. He had seen the devastation and felt such pain as he witnessed the horrors around him. Yet, he didn’t lose hope that a change would one day come, because he knew that the Lord he served was faithful, with new compassions and mercies each morning. Even in the midst of his lament, he wrote with a forward-looking attitude that change would come.
The Lord God is still faithful today, and His mercies are still new every morning, which means that hope is still alive in America and around the world. Change is still possible, and, indeed, we see evidence of God moving in the hearts of people to speak out and bridge the gap that can so easily divide us and lead to hopelessness.