My recent insomnia followed me into the early hours of the morning. I gave in, got up, closed the doors on three still sleeping children, then settled myself in my chair beside the fireplace.
I opened my soft grey Bible from the place where it sits, too often undisturbed and neglected, on the shelf next to me. I turned to Lamentations; it's a Lamentations sort of season, you know? Woe and despair and tears, verse after verse. My eyes fail from weeping; my heart is poured out on the ground, oh yes, mine too.
And then, bright jewel among ashes, I remember my afflictions, I well remember them, yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope...
I well remember.
Oh, how very many things I well remember. Things from recent times, things from years long past, dark times and hard times, things that lie silently in my heart and come to mind in the quiet hours, I well remember.
And yet this I call to mind, that your compassion never fails, Lord. Great is your faithfulness, and your love has no end. Yet this I call to mind, that you are near to the brokenhearted. You desire not the death of a sinner, but that he should turn from his wickedness and live - live! - and this too I remember, that I am that sinner, day after day I am that sinner. Fall down, try again. Turn and live.
And because of these things, I have hope.