FRESH STARTS

When a child comes to a loving parent and says, “I’m sorry, I’ll never do it again”, the compassionate parent picks up the child, holds the child in a close, comforting embrace and whispers words of loving forgiveness.  The defiance and arrogance cease in the child.  Humbled regret is expressed by the lamenting child.  The parent assures the child of their loving relationship through forgiveness.  A fresh start begins.  All is well.

Lamentations is about grief; it is about forgiveness; it is about holding intention and an openness to possibility. It is about a great turning – a shift in consciousness and way of being.  The people grieve what was which was destroyed while learning to grab and cling to the Hope from God of what will be.  The lament begins a reversal in thinking.

We have learned that the “lament” is an important aspect of our lives and is just as crucial to us as breathing.  To lament is the final act of humbling ourselves in a posture that empties all that is human desires within to receive and be filled with all that is holy—God!  We learn in our lament that life is larger than our pain and current physical reality.  God is and always will be our only Hope.  God does not fail us in His compassion toward us.  His unfailing, relentless love for us never quits or gives up on us.

The Word of God, inspired and delivered by God to mankind has been preserved for communicating who God is and how He specifically speaks deeply into our lives. All things considered; to study Lamentations along with the book of Jeremiah, almost makes Lamentations irresistible when you intimately know the One who wants us to love Him back!  Be still, let go, and know God.

Lamentations 5, The Message

Give Us a Fresh Start

1-22 “Remember, God, all we’ve been through.
    Study our plight, the black mark we’ve made in history.
Our precious land has been given to outsiders,
    our homes to strangers.
Orphans we are, not a father in sight,
    and our mothers no better than widows.
We have to pay to drink our own water.
    Even our firewood comes at a price.
We’re nothing but slaves, bullied and bowed,
    worn out and without any rest.
We sold ourselves to Assyria and Egypt
    just to get something to eat.
Our parents sinned and are no more,
    and now we’re paying for the wrongs they did.
Slaves rule over us;
    there’s no escape from their grip.
We risk our lives to gather food
    in the bandit-infested desert.
Our skin has turned black as an oven,
    dried out like old leather from the famine.
Our wives were raped in the streets in Zion,
    and our virgins in the cities of Judah.
They hanged our princes by their hands,
    dishonored our elders.
Strapping young men were put to women’s work,
    mere boys forced to do men’s work.

The city gate is empty of wise elders.
    Music from the young is heard no more.
All the joy is gone from our hearts.
    Our dances have turned into dirges.
The crown of glory has toppled from our head.
    Woe! Woe! Would that we’d never sinned!
Because of all this we’re heartsick;
    we can’t see through the tears.
On Mount Zion, wrecked and ruined,
    jackals pace and prowl.
And yet, God, you’re sovereign still,
    your throne intact and eternal.
So why do you keep forgetting us?
    Why dump us and leave us like this?
Bring us back to you, God—we’re ready to come back.
    Give us a fresh start.

As it is, you’ve cruelly disowned us.
    You’ve been so very angry with us.”

WHAT DO WE LEARN—WHO DO WE RESPOND TODAY?

There is nothing you have done or suffered the consequences for that will keep you from the love of God and His forgiveness.  God made a Way to come back to the Truth of who He is and wants to be in us—Life forevermore.  That Way, Truth and Life is all wrapped in the Person of Jesus Christ, His Son.  Jesus, “The Word made flesh” came down from His throne in heaven and willingly lived a humble life on earth teaching us who God is, how much He loves us and wants us to love Him back with how to love each other.  Jesus healed, comforted, while reclaiming humans from a life of hopelessness. “Come and see God!” was the mantra of the day.

All was wonderful and right with Jesus.  But sin still stood in the Way.  Sin has always stood between God and mankind.  Sin was a debt that was too much to pay by human efforts.  So, Jesus volunteered to be the perfect, once and for all sacrifice, the One and Only candidate who could because of being without sin himself.  He willingly and painfully laid down on a cruel cross, nailing our sins on that cross through His body who took all our sins upon Himself.  Jesus paid it all, in full, for all the sins of the world. 

God sent Jesus to earth for this very purpose.  “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)

Believe.  Lament with repent, calling on the Name of Jesus for forgiveness.  Jesus forgives and we are saved for eternity.  God said.  It’s done.  Our sins to be remembered no more.  After lament and repent comes hope and fresh new way of thinking and behaving! Get ready for a fresh start!

Lord,

Indeed, your mercies are new and fresh with each new day to be alive here on earth.  You are Hope!  You bring Life with new, higher ways of thinking which leads to more holy ways of behaving.  You forgive sin completely, so much so that you forget we ever sinned.  We do not forget which hopefully helps us to “sin more more”!  But when I do, you forgive and set me right once more.  That’s how you made us and that’s how you love us.  I love how you love.  Teach me your ways and help me to internalize Your Word into my being so I will sin less.  You are God and I am not.  I’m yours, Lord, all that I am and all that I’m not but want to be.  Yes, I believe.  No turning back, no turning back.

In Jesus Name, For Your Glory, Amen

Now, let us worship!  Singing, “It is Well with My Soul”!

About randscallawayffm

Randy and Susan co founded Finding Focus Ministries in 2006. Their goal as former full time pastors, is to serve and provide spiritual encouragement and focus to those on the "front lines" of ministry. Extensive experience being on both sides of ministry, paid and volunteer, on the mission fields of other countries as well as the United States, helps them bring a different perspective to those who need it most. Need a lift? Call us 260 229 2276.
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