SWHW Bible Reading Plan: August 2021


Top Takeaway from Emily Copeland:

If your heart broke for Jeremiah and the people of Jerusalem as you read through the first and second chapters of Lamentations, it's probably because you've recently been through devastation, loss, or heartache of some kind.

I'm thinking about the women who have lost friendships, security in their job, or a shift in their church community. The women who have started something new and failed, or the women who can't seem to get out of depressive thoughts or extended seasons of anxiety. When you read about the loss and depravity of another person or group of people, it cuts deeper in familiarity and sympathy.

Jerusalem lived far from God for some time. Their sin was egregious in God's eyes. They lived for every pleasure other than God's presence. Jeremiah had even warned the people of Jerusalem about the impending doom through his many prophecies, but as he sat and looked at the smoke rising over the city, he didn't feel vindicated. He was heartbroken. 

How could a couple of chapters about the demolition of God's city and people because of their sin bring any form of encouragement or hope?

I believe that hope can be found in a simple truth: God rescues His people in any way that He can. God fights for proximity to us even when we don't fight for proximity to Him. 

Sometimes, our eyes are so fixated on the pleasures of life around us that He has to take a lot of it away in order to help us to look up. God doesn't always wait for us to figure it out. He may take action by carrying out His rescue plan. And, while we may expect a boat, God may send a fish as He did for Jonah. 

His plan of restoration probably doesn't look like ours, and it may feel like we are sitting next to the rubble, staring at the destruction without a clear recovery plan.  But God is at work.

Our mourning and our disappointment can be a form of worship in these seasons. When God gets our attention or changes the comforts of our life in different seasons, we can praise Him for waking us up to what He is doing. 

"The Lord has done what He planned; He has fulfilled His word, which He decreed long ago." Lamentations 2:17

God's rescue plan for our life is already in motion. And, even if it's a painful process, He will do what He has planned. He will fulfill His Word in your life and in mine. 

Once we understand that He is fighting for our heart and not our success or comfort, then we can accept the rescue, praise Him for it, and trust His heart for every next step.

God, our hearts ache today when we understand the pain, like Jeremiah's, of a life that is shaken and changed. But, we know that You love us more than a comfortable life. You love us more than any of the pleasures we chase can love us. We choose to trust Your rescue plan and understand that whatever it requires, it will change us for the best. To have You is to have everything, even if we have nothing. Thank You for being more than enough. We love You. Amen.