The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases,
his mercies never come to an end;
They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
‘The Lord is my portion,’ says my soul,
‘therefore I will hope in him.’ Lamentations 3: 22-24
New year, new resolutions and yet..... And yet, life has still not calmed down. We are back to masks and social distancing and, well, enough already - we are all sick of hearing it.
The above portion of Lamentations often seems to get used as a sort of consolation prize when things go wrong. Life is terrible, we might tell ourselves, but God still loves us so everything is just fine. This is an unhealthy relationship with scripture and a damaging image of God.
What does God look like if God is already in the tough stuff, right there, in the middle of all our struggles? That is exactly where God is. God is not a sort of star player who we call in from the sidelines when life gets difficult to handle, God is already on the field, through good and through bad.
Read those Lamentations verses a few times - there is a real tenderness in them, a longing to be close to God - not a god who is outside, but a God who brings new life each day to our whole being. Our hope is not that God will come in and swoop us up out of harms way but, rather, that we will find God where God has always been, and will always be - right in the middle of our lives, especially in the messy bits.