September 8 – Lament – The Agony of a Lonely Heart

Read Lamentations 1:1-22

Imagine walking through the cities of Europe following the brutal battles of World War II. You hear a starving baby’s whimpers carried by the wind through bombed-out buildings. You see a woman sitting on the ground holding the head of her lifeless husband in her lap. You see rubble, litter, and destruction everywhere. Maybe you drop to your knees and begin to sob uncontrollably. You feel alone, broken, and without hope.

That’s how Jeremiah must have felt as he walked through the rubble of Jerusalem following the invasion of the Babylonian army. He had warned the people to repent of their sins or suffer the consequences of God‘s judgment. Despite doing exactly what God called him to do, Jeremiah still felt deep anguish as he looked at the smoldering rubble of his hometown.

The opening chapter of Lamentations reads like a newspaper report as Jeremiah graphically describes the groanings of the destroyed city. His words are packed with emotions that most of us have felt at some time in our lives. The city of Jerusalem is even pictured as a widow who “weeps bitterly in the night“ (v. 2a).

The reasons for Jerusalem’s agony are clear: its citizens forsook the Lord and substituted the temporary things of this life for an eternal relationship with Him. Carnality replaced spirituality and personal pleasure replaced godly commitment (vv. 5-9).

Finally, the city pours out her pain to God and begs Him to intervene with her enemies. (vv. 20-22). God’s discipline is finally producing the desired effect – His people have come to a place of repentance and dependence on Him.

As Jeremiah looked around at the city he loved, he experienced loneliness that can only be described as anguish. Yet no one has ever suffered the pain of alienation more than Jesus. As the spotless Lamb of God, He was betrayed, beaten, mocked, and crucified by those He sought to help. Isaiah reminds us that the Suffering Servant died alone… forsaken by God and despised by man (Isaiah 53:3-6).

Do you feel alone today? Is there no one who can genuinely offer you comfort? Do you feel as if people really can’t understand your pain?

Jesus can and does. The old song says, “No one understands like Jesus, He’s a friend beyond compare. Meet Him at the throne of mercy. He is waiting for you there.”  He does understand. He is “acquainted with our grief.” He longs to ease your pain.

Allow this invitation of our Lord to sink deeply into your soul: “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light”  (Matthew 11:28-30 NLT).

Place your lonely, broken, wounded heart in His tender care.

Bob Fetterhoff

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