I know that you have been waiting on the edge of your seat for the anxious publishing of the second blog. I am aware of the inconsistency of my writing, and despite my will to crawl into bed, I realize that I must rise up to the challenge and publish yet another, insofar that I may raise my head again and not be ashamed to show my face in the morning. (Which after today, any public appearance will most likely not be in the morning :) ) I finished my research paper around 3am-- the result of two consecutive sleepless nights-- and I am looking forward to a sleep-in day tomorrow! I'm not a big fan of sleeping-in; however, I am a big fan of sleeping, unless I can find a way to sleep-out, sleeping-in sounds like the favorable choice!
Speaking of the morning, I came across a verse a little while ago in Lamentations. It is called the most melancholy book of the Bible, hence the lamentation of Israel, yet within the book, a most beautiful passage is found, construing a portrait of the character of God. The previous verses talk of Israel's affliction and, well, lament. Then, the writer includes:
I Remember my affliction and my wandering, the wormwood and bitterness. Surely my soul remembers and is bowed down within me. This I recall to my mind, therefore I have hope. The Lord's lovingkindnesses indeed never cease, For his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; Great is Thy faithfulness. "The Lord is my portion," says my soul, 'Therefore, I have hope in Him.' ... Who is there who speaks and it comes to pass, unless the Lord has commanded it? Is it not from the mouth of the Most High that both good and ill go forth?" Lam. 3:19-24, 37-38.
I have a friend who, a couple of years ago, received the heart-breaking news that his brother-in-law and best friend had passed away in a tragic accident. Being a young Christian man, he was loved by his family and the community, and upon hearing this news, my friend wordlessly wept, and in response said only, "Through all things, praise God." What an amazing testimony of trust and submission to the grace and mercy of God! Jonathan Edwards uses the phrase that Christians should be "ready to hope" in Christ and his endless grace. I am captivated by this phrase, praying that when the Lord allows conflict or trial in our lives, which is the promise of 2 Timothy 3:12, to all who seek holiness, that we are ready to hope in his faithfulness and compassion-- that is is the author of all, good and ill, and in all, he is to be glorified!