Apples of Gold

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The Lord is my Portion

‘I am the man that hath seen affliction by the rod of his wrath. He hath led me, and brought me into darkness, but not into light. Surely against me is he turned; he turneth his hand against me all the day. My flesh and my skin hath he made old; he hath broken my bones. He hath builded against me, and compassed me with gall and travail. He hath set me in dark places, as they be dead of old. He hath hedged me about, that I cannot get out; he hath made my chain heavy. Also when I cry and shout, he shutteth out my prayer. He hath inclosed my ways with hewn stone, he hath made my paths crooked. He was unto me as a bear lying in wait, and as a lion in secret places. He hath turned aside my ways, and pulled me in pieces; he hath made me desolate.’ Lamentations 3:1-11

‘It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning; great is thy faithfulness. The Lord is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him. The Lord is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him. It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the Lord. Lamentations 3:22-26

This morning I had no thought of writing. I read chapter 3 of the book of Lamentations which seemed to describe me to a ‘T’ then I felt compelled to write. If the verses in Lamentations Chapter 3 are one of the experiences of the child of God, then I am one!

How then can I encourage anyone when my own soul feels as though it is languishing in my boots? Well, if nothing else, I am learning that no matter what I write, there is always some other brother or sister ‘feeling’ or going through, a similar experience. I often thought that the experiences that I was going through were, as it were ‘unique’ to me, however I have been shown differently. It has always been my desire to help and encourage my brothers and sisters along the way. We all need encouragement, not just now and again, but every single day.

I started to write down the first verse to use as my heading for this piece, yet when I read the next verse it seemed just as applicable to my condition. As I read I felt the words describing exactly how I felt. Can these words reflect the life and feelings of a child of God? Well they are written in the Bible for a reason. If Jeremiah experienced this then why can’t I? It is certainly not the place that I want to be in, neither do I like ‘feeling’ like this, but it seems as though the heavens are as brass to my prayers at present.

It seems that no matter what I try to do, I fail! ‘I’ just keep getting in His way and I do not know how to avoid this. I feel more than broken in spirit! I shake my head and wonder, ‘what on earth is going on?’ There is no rhyme or reason to anything that is happening, there is simply disappointment after disappointment, and heartache following heartache.

What then is the point in going on? What hope do I have? Will things ever change? Will life eventually get better?

Thankfully I did not stop reading half way through this Chapter. The same man that penned the first 20 verses also penned the following 15!

God is in control, of this I am certain. My problem lies with my restricted vision. He knows the end from the beginning, He also knows the way that I take. His thoughts towards me are thoughts of peace and not evil. He will give me an expected end. He does all things well even though I often fail to acknowledge this.

The just shall live by faith, yet whenever things go wrong I resort to feelings! If my way is hedged in then I try to climb over and escape. Little do I understand what it means to wait upon the Lord. I am impatient and my impatience leads to frustration and frustration to fear and disappointment.

I have to remember that I am but clay and I will get nowhere fast if I continue to argue my case with the Potter. This reading this morning has encouraged me, it has revived my hope and my expectation of better days. I hope they come soon, no I hope they begin today! Just like Jeremiah, my hope is in Him.

I’ll close with something for you to meditate upon. It is something I read in National Geographical and it is new to me. The ancient Mesopotamian word for vine also means ‘Tree of Life!’ Has it ever crossed your mind that the ‘True Vine’ was in the garden of Eden?