Rock bottom

(Lamentations 3: 19-30, The Message)

 19-21I’ll never forget the trouble, the utter lostness,
the taste of ashes, the poison I’ve swallowed.
I remember it all—oh, how well I remember—
the feeling of hitting the bottom.
But there’s one other thing I remember,
and remembering, I keep a grip on hope:

22-24God’s loyal love couldn’t have run out,
his merciful love couldn’t have dried up.
They’re created new every morning.
How great your faithfulness!
I’m sticking with God (I say it over and over).
He’s all I’ve got left.

25-27God proves to be good to the man who passionately waits,
to the woman who diligently seeks.
It’s a good thing to quietly hope,
quietly hope for help from God.
It’s a good thing when you’re young
to stick it out through the hard times.

28-30When life is heavy and hard to take,
go off by yourself. Enter the silence.
Bow in prayer. Don’t ask questions:
Wait for hope to appear.
Don’t run from trouble. Take it full-face.
The “worst” is never the worst.

I am unsure to tell you whether I am glad that you are not at rock bottom or to tell you I hope you get there soon.  What a perplexing thing for a colleague and friend to say.  “Do you really wish for me to be at rock bottom, why?”

I’ve been there folks, more times and places than I’d care to tell and far more recently than anyone would guess.  One thing that is true about reaching rock bottom, as Jeremiah reminds us in his lament; at the point of rock bottom we remember one thing, God’s loyal love has not run out or dried up.  And, my friend, if you are not at that point this very moment, of realizing the utter love that God has for you, for me and for the others, I hope you get there soon.

I have a young friend who does not know Jesus.  My friend is involved in a relationship that is not entirely rewarding.  There is a feeling of disappointment and almost dread associated with this.  As I had the opportunity to share with her recently, I happened to have a list of actions that a man or woman is called to do in times of lostness, ashes or poison, the times at rock bottom.  The list came directly from Jeremiah’s lament found above.




Stick it out

Go off by yourself

Enter the silence

Bow in prayer

Don’t ask questions


Don’t run from trouble

Take it full face

Without understanding God’s faithfulness and merciful love, I suppose that list of actions won’t make much sense.  I tried to help her see.

We do understand, though, don’t we?  We do know, don’t we?  We do trust don’t we? 


Explore posts in the same categories: Faith

One Comment on “Rock bottom”

  1. Hi, Scot. How are you? Just a little note to say “A very happy Easter to you!” 🙂

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