“Is it nothing to you, all you who pass by? Look around and see. Is any suffering like my suffering that was inflicted on me, that the Lord brought on me in the day of his fierce anger? From on high he sent fire, sent it down into my bones. He spread a net for my feet and turned me back. He made me desolate, faint all the day long. My sins have been bound into a yoke; by his hands they were woven together. They have been hung on my neck, and the Lord has sapped my strength. He has given me into the hands of those I cannot withstand. This is why I weep and my eyes overflow with tears. No one is near to comfort me, no one to restore my spirit. My children are destitute because the enemy has prevailed.” (Lamentations 1:12-14, 16 NIV)
Note the phrase: all you who pass by…
Israel has reached a place in its history where their pain and sorrow is beyond comparison, and can be seen by anyone who is looking. You can see Who is the author of this suffering — the LORD. And why are they burdened with such sorrow and suffering? Because of their sin. Worshiping false gods. Deserting and denouncing the true worship of the One True God. So, nothing new. Lamentations is a long litany of sin, sorrow and judgment. But in the midst of all this grief, there is a bright light — however brief — in chapter 3.
But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; is mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness. (Lamentations 3:21-23 ESV)
Later in the chapter, Jeremiah writes: Let us examine our ways and test them, and let us return to the LORD. (v. 40) In the midst of this pandemic turmoil, it can be easy to lose sight of the Lord. With all the fear, anger, anxiety and stress surrounding us, we can lose our way. But remember, The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, His mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning.