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No Comfort?

Read: Lamentations 1:17-20

Zion stretches out her hands, but there is none to comfort her. (v. 17)

Years ago, I watched a television program that featured a man beginning the process of overcoming an addiction. His best friend, a reformed addict, said, “Get used to the fact that nothing is going to make you feel good for a while.” Losing something that once made you feel good can make all comfort feel out of reach.

During the exile, God’s people were forcibly removed from every source of earthly comfort. In the moment, this felt like a cruel punishment. However, God had good reason. For centuries, he told them that their sources of comfort were substitute gods, and that their salvation depended on a season of deprivation. It was only when every other comfort was stripped away that they would find comfort in their faithful God.

Whenever we experience a personal loss, a blow to our health, or a disorienting change in circumstances, we immediately seek comfort in familiar places. In his wisdom, God may impede our efforts. Not because our other comforts are bad, but because he knows that our deepest longing cannot be satisfied by anything in this world. Lamentations 1 provides little comfort, but along with the exiles, we have access to God’s past promises in Scripture. Through the prophet Jeremiah, God tells us, “You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.” (Jer. 29:13). When God’s people are willing to make God our priority, he promises we will be fully satisfied and truly comforted.

As you pray, ask God to satisfy your longing with his abiding love.

About the Author

Ben Van Arragon has served various Christian Reformed congregations since 2003. He currently serves as pastor at Plymouth Heights Christian Reformed Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

This entry is part 4 of 15 in the series Lamentations: When God is Silent