I have so many favorite Bible passages. But I come back to Lamentations 3: 19-30 repeatedly. I'm especially fond of the way Peterson paraphrases it in The Message:
19-21 I'll never forget the trouble, the utter lostness, the taste of ashes, the poison I've swallowed.I remember it all—oh, how well I remember— the feeling of hitting the bottom. But there's one other thing I remember, and remembering, I keep a grip on hope:
22-24 God's loyal love couldn't have run out, his merciful love couldn't have dried up.They're created new every morning. How great your faithfulness!I'm sticking with God (I say it over and over). He's all I've got left.
25-27 God proves to be good to the man who passionately waits, to the woman who diligently seeks. It's a good thing to quietly hope, quietly hope for help from God. It's a good thing when you're young to stick it out through the hard times.
28-30 When life is heavy and hard to take, go off by yourself. Enter the silence. Bow in prayer. Don't ask questions: Wait for hope to appear. Don't run from trouble. Take it full-face. The "worst" is never the worst.
We may experience different problems, but one thing is for certain, we all have experienced troubles of one kind or another. Some of my toughest troubles have been going through the devastation that schizophrenis brings with my sister, the failure of marriage and shame of divorce, and loss of a career. When I've gone through these and other hard situations, these words have pointed me in the right direction. I think to say more would be rudundant - the verses say it all, and so eloquently!
Besides troublesome situations, I've been troublesome at times. I've failed. I've just plain sinned on purpose. I'm extremely partial to the KJV of verse 22 from above:
It is of the LORD's mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not.
I know in the depths of my heart that what I deserve would have been to be consumed, to be destroyed, yet God chooses again and again to extend forgiveness to me as I come to Him. Heck, He even keeps after me until I do come to Him.
What about you, is there anything from these verses in Lamentations that grab you?