I mentioned it on Facebook earlier in the week, but the place where I work undertook quite a challenge this week. Starting on Monday, we began to read the Bible out loud from 6 am – 2 am. On Monday, they started in Genesis and yesterday around 4:30 PM a student read the last verse in Revelation.
Each person read for 30 minutes. My turn was Wednesday afternoon and I was hoping to read an encouraging passage to get through “hump” day. What I actually read was pretty much as opposite as you can get! I started in Lamentations, which is about what it sounds like – the author “pour[s] out sorrow, anger and dismay”(source).
For the rest of the time, I was reading from Ezekiel. I know I have read out of Ezekiel before, but I certainly don’t remember the passage that I shared on Wednesday. Here’s my version of the story of Ezekiel.
Ezekiel was a prophet and God had asked him to warn the Jewish people of the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple. Ezekiel received visions that he was instructed to share with the people, and as you can imagine these were not pleasant visions.
God also asked Ezekiel to set up a symbol of the destruction of Jerusalem. As a part of that, Ezekiel was to lay on his left side for 390 days to represent the number of years that Israel had been in rebellion and on his right side for 40 days for the number of years Judah had been in rebellion. God told him how he was to eat and drink during that time. It was in reading those verses that I almost lost it.
“Prepare and eat this food as you would barley cakes. While all the people are watching, bake it over a fire using dried human dung as fuel and then eat the bread.” … Then I said, ‘O Sovereign Lord, must I be defiled by using human dung? For I have never been defiled before.’… ‘All right,’ the Lord said. ‘You may bake your bread with cow dung instead of human dung.’ ” ~ Ezekiel 4:12, 14a, 15
Wow! I feel like there is something to be said for both God’s anger when people disobey him and also maybe his sense of humor to our complaints. I’m not really sure how much of an improvement cow poop is over human poop.
On a MUCH happier note, there was a passage in Lamentations that really caught my eye. In the middle of describing his struggles, the author of Lamentations remembers something important.
I have been deprived of peace; I have forgotten what prosperity is.
So I say, “My splendor is gone and all that I had hoped from the LORD.”
I remember my affliction and my wandering, the bitterness and the gall.
I well remember them, and my soul is downcast within me.
Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope:
Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail.
They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.
I say to myself, “The LORD is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.”
~ Lamentations 3:17-24
I may have a bad diabetes day today where nothing goes right. A bad infusion set, a missed bolus, empty reservoir, test strips that aren’t accurate, a CGM sensor that stings a little, and hormones that mess everything up. But that’s just today. I try to not get too discouraged. Because tomorrow? Well, that’s a new chance to get it all right.