S (Scripture): Lamentations 5: 19 But you, Lord, will rule forever; your throne lasts from one generation to the next.
20 Why do you forget us continually; why do you abandon us for such a long time?
21 Return us, Lord, to yourself. Please let us return! Give us new days, like those long ago—
22 unless you have completely rejected us, or have become too angry with us.
O (Observation): The framework around the despair here is that God’s people understand the devaststion of their land (and people) as recompense for their turning away from God.
And when we zoom in on these verses here, we can see that their faith in God is challenged to the point of wondering if God is still even “for them” anymore.
A (Application): I in no way attribute the recent hurricanes (Harvey, Irma, Maria) or the earthquakes in Mexico to God’s doing – not in any way shape or form. And yet I can see how those devastated by the storms and quakes could share similar lamentations.
Regardless of how one sees the cause of God’s people and land being destroyed at the time of the writing of Lamentations, or the cause of today’s horrific natural disasters, the crying out of all peoples is the same: why?! God, where are you?!
My hope and is that we can help be the answer to that prayer. That we would take up our chainsaws and shovels, rakes and buckets, trash bags and hard hats. That we would send money and prayers where they are needed most.
God is at work through our hands and wallets and spirits. Let us follow the call to serve, to help where needed most.
P (Prayer): Equipping Lord, call us to the places where we can serve those who have lost their homes and maybe even loved ones. Amen.
(More on aid to Puerto Rico here. )