This past week, my Proverbs 31 Online Bible Study had the chance to bless an organization called Dove’s Nest in Charlotte, N.C. in our study, “What Happens When Women Say Yes to God” by Lysa TerKeurst. We’ve shared prayers, encouraging scripture cards, and financial contributions. At last count, we were up to approximately $20,000 donated! WOW! That’s a whole lotta sayin’ YES!
We also had the opportunity to write a letter to someone who’s staying at Dove’s Next, part of the Charlotte Rescue Mission. Here’s mine…
Oh Dear One,
You might be reading this wondering what on earth has brought you to this place. And although I don’t know all the details, I do know that GOD does. He knows the hairs on your head, the troubles in your heart, the battles you have faced, and the tears you have cried. As I have prayed about any words of encouragement I could share with you, this passage of scripture came to mind, from the Old Testament book of Lamentations, chapter 3, verses 19-36 and 55-57 (from The Message translation).
This particular book of the bible is filled with gut-wrenching and heartfelt prayers from the prophet Jeremiah, after his beloved nation of Israel had been cast into exile, many centuries before Jesus ever came to earth.
Maybe you have felt cast away at times. I know I have. Sometimes it’s the result of our choices.
Other times, it’s the choices of others that leave us feeling like we’re on the outside, looking in. Either way, it’s not easy.
God never said He’d keep every problem away from us. But He said that He would be there for us when we face them. So, I hope and pray that these words from the Good Book itself might encourage you here at Doves Nest.
I’ll never forget the trouble, the utter lostness,
the taste of ashes, the poison I’ve swallowed.
I remember it all—oh, how well I remember—
the feeling of hitting the bottom.
But there’s one other thing I remember,
and remembering, I keep a grip on hope:
God’s loyal love couldn’t have run out,
his merciful love couldn’t have dried up.
They’re created new every morning.
How great your faithfulness!
I’m sticking with God (I say it over and over).
He’s all I’ve got left.
God proves to be good to the man who passionately waits,
to the woman who diligently seeks.
It’s a good thing to quietly hope,
quietly hope for help from God.
It’s a good thing when you’re young
to stick it out through the hard times.
When life is heavy and hard to take,
go off by yourself. Enter the silence.
Bow in prayer. Don’t ask questions:
Wait for hope to appear.
Don’t run from trouble. Take it full-face.
The “worst” is never the worst.
Why? Because the Master won’t ever
walk out and fail to return.
If he works severely, he also works tenderly.
His stockpiles of loyal love are immense.
He takes no pleasure in making life hard,
in throwing roadblocks in the way:
Stomping down hard
on luckless prisoners,
Refusing justice to victims
in the court of High God,
Tampering with evidence—
the Master does not approve of such things.
“I called out your name, O God,
called from the bottom of the pit.
You listened when I called out, ‘Don’t shut your ears!
Get me out of here! Save me!’
You came close when I called out.
You said, ‘It’s going to be all right.’
So … know that it is going to be all right. God Himself said it, so we know it to be true!
That might not happen right away, so I am praying for patience and perseverance for you. Know that you are loved by the Creator of the Universe! And are completely prayed over! Blessings to you!!