The Lord is good to those who wait for Him, To the soul who seeks Him. It is good that one should hope and wait quietly For the salvation of the Lord. It is good for a man to bear The yoke in his youth.
Let him sit alone and keep silent, Because God has laid it on him;Let him put his mouth in the dust— There may yet be hope.Let him give his cheek to the one who strikes him, And be full of reproach. Lamentations 3:25-30 NKJV
There is something strangely unnatural, yet absolutely profound about this section of scripture. As a young man desperately desiring to take on the Lord’s work, and live a devoted life of service I believe the Lord is quietly trying to teach me something through these verses.
I must confess, waiting seems like waste to me much of the time, and nothingness feels like failure day by day. My laziness and lack of discipline haunt me daily, and the time I spend on worthless things are like a plague that I seemingly cannot be rid of, yet I know God is speaking to me here through these words.
The truth is the Lord is good to those who wait on Him, and those who seek Him. Trusting and waiting on my Lord is a truth that must not be discarded, but clung to. Not in desperate moments of peril, but in the drudgery of every day life. I find that I am eager to take on the heroic, and I enjoy the excitement of adventurous opportunities to serve the Lord on a whim, but what I find much more difficult is a day-to-day life devoted, dependant, and trusting in Jesus Christ for all things. My mind sways, my thoughts wonder, and discontent rises in me like the plague it is, yet there is God reminding me that He is good to those who wait on Him. How I desire to be able to be stayed on Him.
I think v.26 is very telling, because I am told what this good, the Lord promises to bestow upon me, actually is. The goodness of God is the salvation of the Lord. This is where my hope lies. In the redemption and salvation of the Cross of Jesus Christ. The goodness of God is my sins being forgiven, being given the Holy Spirit of God, having peace with God, access to His throne, and assured hope of the glory to come. When I remember that I was bought at a price by the blood of Jesus Christ shed at the cross, my wants and my complaints become humiliating. The salvation of the Lord deserves nothing less than my complete affection, surrender, and devotion. This is where i want to be.
Verses 27-30 reveal a little of God’s plan for my life. I know that the struggles I am currently encountering, however petty and small they may be, are not born of hatred, malice, or even worse yet, lack of attention. These struggles and crushings are born from a motive of love and careful molding, and they are thoughtfully done by my good and perfect heavenly Father. To bear the yoke in my youth is absolutely necessary in order to crush the impetuous, stubborn donkey that lives inside of me. I am plainly being broken, as a wild stallion must be broken by a faithful, yet stern trainer. And I need it. If the wild ass is allowed to rage and trample wherever he wishes, who knows what damage might be done, and which people may be harmed.
No, I am being hedged in and broken for my own protection, for the protection of those around me, and most importantly for the glory of God. I am being transformed into the image of my saviour day by day as I learn to keep silent among the beatings, knowing that God has laid them upon me. I am learning to associate with the humble and fix my hope completely on the hope of glory, as I am put in the lowest in place with a mouth full of dirt. I am learning to toss aside my pride and personal rights as I am struck, in order that the love of God might be manifested in my life, as My Lord’s love was manifested when He loved those who hated Him all the way to the cross.
As I close this thought, my mind flows to Romans 8:18 “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.” I am suddenly thankful for the yoke, for the dirt, and for the strikes not only because they cannot compare, in terms of contrast, to what God has prepared for me, but also because I know that a servant is not greater than His master. My life was redeemed from the pit, and I was given new life freely as a prize. Everything I am, and I all that I have, is because Jesus bought me and saved me at the cross. For that I hope to gladly give my all, and bear any reproaches or droughts that I might be given. This is fit for a disciple of Him who bore the sins of the world and endured the accompanying shame and torture of the cross, although he deserved none of those sins nor any of the shame, but went to the cross because of His love for those who committed the sins He Himself bore.