“But this I call to mind,
and therefore I have hope:
The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;
his mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
‘The Lord is my portion,’ says my soul,
‘therefore I will hope in him.’
The Lord is good to those who wait for him,
to the soul who seeks him.
It is good that one should wait quietly
for the salvation of the Lord…
For the Lord will not
cast off forever,
but, though he cause grief, he will have compassion
according to the abundance of his steadfast love;
for he does not afflict from his heart
or grieve the children of men.” Lamentations 3:21-26,31-33
There is no way to distinguish between cloud and clear. All is dark before dawn. No scent loiters. But then silence morphs to tickling drops, and gradually the sky pales to reveal the clots and grime that were there all the time. The air fills with that fresh smell of damp. Rain has arrived.
We watch and wait, sometimes in darkness, but only God knows. He knows the storms that brew, the breaking of clouds, pelting of sharp drops, and torrents that sweep, and the sweet relief of all over, it is finished. He knows, and guides, and faithfully is good and sufficient in and through all.
When we do not know how to solve, or where our thinking should go or land in process, we can call Him to mind. When we want to move ahead, or through, but no path is clear, we can wait on Him. When we feel cast off, or are grieved or afflicted, we can trust His compassion. Only He brings hope. Only He steadfastly loves and regularly issues fresh mercies. Only He never fails; only His salvation is sure.
When we cannot know the way, or resolution, or happy ending, we can know Him. In the anticipation and in the midst, He is knowable in His grace and glory. And isn’t this the sweeter, deeper, better knowledge? This is the knowing that is high and other-worldly. This is the knowing that is lasting and real. This is the knowing that stills our hearts and secures our souls.
In the dark before dawn- of circumstance, trouble, illness, or any day- what do we call to mind? Where do we anchor our hope? Where have we tethered our security that is not holding? Where do we ground our expectations that is unrealistic? Would we, with an act of will, set ourselves to waiting quietly for His salvation, relying on God alone as our portion and ultimate Finisher of our faith and all that concerns us? (Job 23:10; Hebrews 12:2; 1 Peter 5:10)
“My faith has found a resting place,
not in device or creed;
I trust the ever-living One,
his wounds for me shall plead.
Enough for me that Jesus saves,
this ends my fear and doubt;
a sinful soul, I come to him,
he’ll never cast me out.
I need no other argument,
I need no other plea,
it is enough that Jesus died,
and that he died for me.” ~Eliza E. Hewitt (1851-1920)
Lord of all, help me trust that You who began all will complete all, for Your glory and my good. (Philippians 1:6)