By Erica Lotzer
About five years ago, our family was going through a really difficult season. Amidst the tears, frustrations, sadness and unknowns of that time – the LORD was gracious and kind to me, revealing His love and tangible presence. There were a few key Scripture verses that I clung to like a lifeline in that season. These days, in a world filled with more uncertainties than usual, I find myself revisiting these familiar passages – for hope, comfort and the continued assurance of His presence.
Lamentations 3 says:
this I call to mind
and therefore I have hope:
of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail.
23 They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
Reading this passage in a different context than the one five years ago, I find that it speaks to me in unique ways. I love that about Scripture. It is living, active and ready to take on a new form in our lives – to settle deeper into the nooks and crannies of our souls, expanding with fresh revelation. Today, for me, three things stick out in Lamentations 3:
First – I love that verse 21 is a confession from the author that he has to call to mind these things. Some days hope is not a natural response. But if we call to mind, bring to the forefront of our thoughts, His great love and compassion, this will fill us with the hope that is required. I had a mentor growing up who would always ask “what’s the therefore there for?” If we can call to mind, remember, who He is and what He stands for, we will, therefore, be filled with the hope we need and desire. We might have to train our thoughts to get there, and that’s ok. A quote from one of my favorite devotionals reads, “…when we remember how He blesses, loves us, when we recollect His goodness to us, we heal – we re-member. In the remembering to give thanks, our broken places are re-membered – made whole. When we re-member all His blessings, we re-member all our factures, and in giving thanks in the assembly it’s our very souls that re-assemble.”
Second – we are not consumed, because of His great love. No matter how things in this world shake out, this will not consume us. This will not overtake us. And even if we are overcome in this world, nothing can touch heaven. Earth has no sorrow that heaven can’t heal. I think many of us have turned to John 16:33 in this time, and rightfully so. “In this world, you will have trouble. But take heart! I [Jesus] have overcome the world.” This feels like a pep talk – Jesus patting us on the back, cheering us on and telling us “you got this,” or more accurately, “WE’VE got this.”
Third – His compassions are new every morning. They are NEW. They aren’t stale or trite or compulsory. For some foolish reason, we as humans tend to project our limited capacities on to a limitless God. Though our abilities for selfless, unconditional love and compassion fall short, His never will. And it isn’t a copy and paste from yesterday. His loving kindness arrives to us fresh with each new day. Similar to how He provided manna to the Israelites in their time of distress in the desert (Exodus 16). Fresh manna miraculously showed up each morning. Furthermore, God made sure the Israelites trusted Him for their daily bread by causing this manna to rot if it was stored overnight. He needed His people to trust Him to provide daily. Literally translated to “what is it?” manna (aka God’s provision) may not arrive in the way we expect. We may actually only recognize it as provision in hindsight if we don’t trust Him and stay tuned in with a heart of gratitude. Don’t overlook the manna he is providing fresh for you this day.
So as we close out Holy week, let us call to mind the hope of Easter, remembering the cares of this world will not consume us, because His love, mercies and provisions are new each and every morning.
 Ann Voskamp, One Thousand Gifts Devotional: Reflections on Finding Everyday Graces, 172