Have you ever been depressed? I have. But it never lasts too long.
Jesus always shows his face.
Lamentations 3 is one of my favorite verses, though it doesn’t start out that way.
It was written by Jeremiah, also known as the “Weeping Prophet.” And if you start reading in the first three verses of Lamentations 3, you can understand the moniker.
“I am the man who has seen affliction by the rod of the Lord’s wrath. He has driven me away and made me walk in darkness rather than light; indeed, he has turned his hand against me again and again, all day long.”
February 26 will be the fourth anniversary of Nancy’s passing. Almost four months. It doesn’t seem that long. But then again, it seems so long.
I guess I feel like Jeremiah.
There are times I live in darkness. But it got even worse for Jeremiah. Start reading in verse 4 and following and it seemed to go from bad to worse.
For the first 18 verses Jeremiah goes on about his suffering, his darkness, and his lack of hope.
But somewhere in verse 19 he has a change of heart.
Let’s look at the next three verses.
“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.”
Hope, what a wonderful thing.
We need to remember this in the midst of our grief, afflictions, bitterness, when our soul is downcast within us.
Jeremiah underwent much affliction, but he had the state of mind, or the prompting of the Holy Spirit to remember what would or could save him.
We should memorize the next three verses.
“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. I say to myself, ‘The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.’”
I know it’s hard to remember if I drained the swamp when I’m up to my neck in alligators. Regardless, I need to remember these verses, and therefore have hope.
Jeremiah remembers the Lords great love for him, and for us. And because of his great love for us, we are not consumed because his compassions never fail.
I know sometimes it seems like they do fail, and I feel close to being consumed.
I have gone through almost four years now without my love. There are times that I feel I am soon to be consumed. There are times I feel like being consumed by depression, really consumed.
But that day hasn’t happened yet.
I know if I can stand for just one more day, maybe, or maybe two days, I will not be consumed.
I’m told that. I believe that. Maybe not as much as I need to believe it. But I still believe it.
It’s like the father with the demon-possessed son. He said to Jesus, “I do believe, help me with my unbelief.”
Jesus helped him. And Jesus will help us, even with our mustard seed of faith.
We’re told by Jeremiah that Jesus’ compassions never fail and not only that but that they are new every morning.
I need to plug into that.
Great is his faithfulness.
Ours doesn’t need to be great. But his is. And because of that Jeremiah was able to say, “The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.”
Do you wait for God.
We need to.
I have a coffee cup I bought for Nancy. It is my go-to cup now almost every morning.
It has a quote for Psalm 46:10a: “Be still and know that I am Lord.”
Sometimes the only action I need to take is being still.
Sometimes when I take the wrong action, I can mess things up.
I just need to be still and know that God is God.
Jeremiah continued in verse 25 and following: “The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him; it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord.”
The next time I feel depressed, and I believe there will be a next time, I need to remember all I wrote. I need to remember that the Lord is good to those whose hope is in him. I need to seek. And I need to wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord.
Be still and know that he is God. Because of his love we are not consumed. His compassions never fail. They are new every morning. Great is his faithfulness.
The Lord is my portion, and I will wait for him.
Rick Reed is a columnist who lives in Mount Dora. To reach him call (352) 383-1458, or email him at [email protected] If you can’t get enough of Rick Reed see his blog at rickreed.co.