Prepare to Listen. Keep lighting a candle of hope and wait in hope even as you read these words of lament.
Prayerfully Read Lamentations 3:55-60
55 I called on your name, O LORD, from the depths of the pit;
56 you heard my plea, ‘Do not close your ear to my cry for help, but give me relief!’
57 You came near when I called on you; you said, ‘Do not fear!’
58 You have taken up my cause, O LORD, you have redeemed my life.
59 You have seen the wrong done to me, O LORD; judge my cause.
60 You have seen all their malice, all their plots against me.
‘Do not close your ear to my cry for help, but give me relief!’ It’s a demanding plea to the Lord: ‘give me relief;’ not a please or thank you to it. But it’s a demand many of us are repeating these days—give me; give us relief. The pray-er in Lamentations gets an answer from the Lord. I doubt it was the answer she expected or wanted. The supplication was for relief, but all the Lord said was, ‘Do not fear!’
Wait it out, pray-er, my child, says God.
Wait it out and while you wait, ‘Do not fear!’
Do not fear this deadly pestilence;
do not fear the bad decisions of your leaders;
do not fear the many losses;
do not fear the numerous changes;
do not fear the lack of control;
do not fear,
says the Lord.
Why shouldn’t we fear, we may well ask? Because God, the Lord has taken up your cause and redeemed your life. Do not fear!
What makes you fearful today? Shout it out to God and then hear the response: ‘Do not fear!’ Repeat it to yourself slowly, aloud, silently. Do not fear! Do not fear! Do not fear!
Respond to Jesus
So much makes me fearful in these days, Lord. I beg you not to close your ear as I also beg you to give me and all of us relief. Keep my ears open and able to hear you say your gentle, ‘Do not fear!’ Amen.