Thursday, March 31, 2011


The roads to Zion mourn,
   for no one comes to her appointed festivals.
All her gateways are desolate,
   her priests groan,
her young women grieve,
   and she is in bitter anguish.
 Her foes have become her masters;
   her enemies are at ease.
The LORD has brought her grief
   because of her many sins.
Her children have gone into exile,
   captive before the foe. – Lamentations 1:4-5

Some people look down upon folks who read the Bible straight through, though maybe that is because many of us throw that fact in their face.

Let’s not be arrogant and judgmental folks…

But one of the powerful things about reading it in order is that it is in the order that it is in for a reason. Reading Lamentations after Jeremiah is a perfect example of this.

In Jeremiah, he spends almost the entire book telling the people how they have fallen short. They have mistreated each other, they have fallen away from God, and they have turned to lives of decadence. Then we see toward the end how the people respond to Jeremiah. They loathe him for being the bearer of bad news. Over and over again he predicts their fall. And each time they put him down; sometimes more forcefully than others.

And then the hammer comes down in the form of Babylon. Babylon does everything that Jeremiah predicted. He has been proven right in the worst possible way.

Now the people are lamenting. Wow… it’s just so heavy.

There’s nothing like knowing with 100% certainty not only that you are wrong, but also knowing exactly what you did to get yourself into this predicament. It is humbling in a most powerful way.

But the good thing is that the story is not over. Yes, there is a time for lamenting. It is healthy for us to allow ourselves the time and space to cry out and mourn the things in our lives that have caused us pain. Actually, this is one of the things that I love about Lamentations. For all of you super tough folks who are afraid to cry you can see that the Bible devotes an entire book to it. There is no weakness in expressing our emotions.

But after that time of crying is a time of rebuilding. Just like when Nehemiah and Ezra worked to bring the people back to Jerusalem and rebuilt the temple during the reign of Persia, we always have a second chance to get back up on our feet and start over.

Rebirth is available to us every single day. It is up to us to go after those opportunities and do the work to rebuild what has been destroyed. 

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A Convo With God by Clarence Mitchell III is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
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