Gone Is My Expectation

Stan Mast

READ : Lamentations 3:1-3, 17-22

Gone is my glory, and my expectation from the Lord. (v. 18 RSV)

Maybe you find it difficult to get your hopes up. Perhaps you’ve “waited for Godot” too, but it seemed that God never came. So you don’t really expect to meet God anywhere in this Advent season, or ever.

Jeremiah, one of those detective prophets we read about yesterday, writes for you. Yes, he was beloved by God (cf. Jeremiah 1), but sometimes God came to Jeremiah not with unexpected grace but with unexpected wrath (v. 1). In fact, it felt as though God had mangled him (v. 11 NIV). Now when he spoke to himself, he summarized his life in these bleak words: “Gone is my glory, and my expectation from the Lord.” Deeply depressed, Jeremiah was stuck in the bleak midwinter of his soul.

But he hadn’t totally lost his faith, any more than you have. It’s still there, deep inside, under the frozen tundra of your soul. Jeremiah tells us how we can resurrect our hope and expectations of God. “But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope.”

He deliberately reminds himself of the Good News at the center of both Testaments. “Because of the Lord’s great love, we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail” (v. 22 NIV). We can say that more easily than Jeremiah because we have the Great Proof of God’s love. It came in the most unexpected way. Remind yourself of him today. And hope.

PRAYER

Holy Spirit, call to my mind the truth about Jesus. Amen.