Learning to Lament
Aside from constructing the words to a poem that has probably become one of the most beloved and well-known hymns in modern history, Tomas Chisholm was a remarkably un-remarkable individual. A man of modest means and average ability who was plagued with ill health for most of his life, Chisholm's hymn conveys genuine wonder and gratitude for God's great faithfulness to an ordinary soul such as his.
All I have needed thy hand hath provided-
Great is thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me.
The song which derives its name after that last line, is based on the text of Lamentations 3:22-23. A quick Google Images search on that verse returns hundreds of stirring images such as this one:
Or this one...
Or this one...
And it's no wonder. The comforting words are intended to provoke a sense of internal peace often associated with beautiful scenery, the colors of a sunrise, or even a steamy cup of coffee. None of those images, however, captures the context in which these verses were written. We think we know God's great faithfulness best when things are beautiful, but that's not what Jeremiah experienced when he wept these words. Read it for yourself, and I think you'll find the chapter paints a picture such as this one...
That's why we need to study the book of Lamentations: because this man's suffering is real and so is yours. Because we need to learn how to cry in the presence of God and to continue in the faith even when we don't know how to pick up the pieces. Because the Lord gives us an example in the life of Jeremiah as he sat among the ruins of a literally-destroyed Jerusalem and asks hard questions that are inspired!
Join us in two weeks as we begin the series: Learning to Lament.