Tough Love

It looks like my big event for today was mowing the lawn. It is much easier mowing the lawn with my riding mower than trying to push a regular mower behind my power wheelchair! The one thing I haven’t tried yet is using the electric trimmer, so I am having Jonathan Hill who helps me with my lawn to come and take on that task.

We had Jerry Cooper from “Helping Hands Handyman” come by to take a look a putting a fence in our backyard. This will help keep our new little dog in. It may be just in time. Somehow how the little varmint go off his leashed and took a stroll somewhere in the neighborhood. I just know that by the time I got home from almost a mile long loop looking for him he was at our back patio door. At least he is learning where home is!

BIBLE VERSE FOR TODAY…. 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. Lamentations 3:22,23

God’s people are in captivity. Jerusalem is in ruins, the temple of God burned. Jeremiah the prophet is mourning (lamenting) what has taken place.

Tough love is the expression that is used to describe actions where love is demonstrated through discipline or temporary pain that is designed to get a loved one’s attention and change their behavior. God is demonstrating “tough love” to His people. The time frame will be 70 years before they realize that following the Lord and obeying Him is the only way to live.

The context of Lamentations 3 shows the condition of God’s people. Jeremiah becomes the personalization of the judgement of God on His people. We read the following:

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; 3:1,2

He has made my skin and my flesh grow old and has broken my bones. 3:4

Even when I call out or cry for help, he shuts out my prayer.  3:8

He pierced my heart with arrows from his quiver. 3:13

I have been deprived of peace; I have forgotten what prosperity is. 3:17

Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed… 3:21,22

After the litany that describes the condition of God’s people it is amazing that there is anything positive that can come from this perspective. However, in the midst of describing the condition in the present, there is the reflection on not what God has done or allowed to happen but who God is. God is the God of hope and the God of love. He is the God of mercies and His mercies are renewed every morning. The summary of it all? Great is your faithfulness! In good times, in bad. In joy and in tragedy the Lord continues to be faithful.

Here is the conclusion in light of all the pain and God’s love and faithfulness….’I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.”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.’ Lam. 3:23-26

In times of trial, in times of discipline, God provides the strength that is needed. As we hope in Him with Psalmist we can say, “I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.” Psalm 27:13

Whatever we face, our situation probably doesn’t equate with what is described in Lamentations 3. We can hold on to the character of God at all times. As you do, you will find this to be true…. “when you don’t understand God’s ways, you can always trust God’s hand.” You are in good hands, when you place your trust in God.