I recently reread the book of Lamentations. The very word means “mourning.” It was written by Jeremiah, the weeping prophet. It begins and ends in sorrow.
The prophet is crying over the destruction of Jerusalem, a disaster that was the result of God’s people leaving God. God’s people had experienced God’s wrath and God’s judgment.
Not exactly an uplifting and inspirational book. All around is desolation, destruction, and disaster. The mood is grief and sorrow. Yet right in the middle of the book is a gold nugget, a promise of 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. (Lamentations 3:22-23, ESV)
The hymn, “Great is Thy Faithfulness,” is based on this passage. Thomas Chisholm wrote the words to that hymn as a testimony of God’s faithfulness through his very ordinary life. Thomas was born in a log cabin in Kentucky. At age 26 he became a Christian.
At age 36, he entered the ministry. He was forced to retire from ministry a year later due to poor health. But he lived to age 93.
Toward the end of his life Chisholm explained, “My income has not been large at any time due to impaired health in the earlier years which has followed me on until now.
Although I must not fail to record here the unfailing faithfulness of a covenant-keeping God and that He has given me many wonderful displays of His providing care, for which I am filled with astonishing gratefulness.”
If we look around, even in the midst of sorrow and sadness, we too can see God’s faithfulness, that His mercies are new each and every morning.
Dr. Wayne Shaw (R-Grove) has been a member of the Oklahoma Senate since 2014. Prior to that he served as the senior pastor at First Christian Church, Grove, for many years.