This week, as I am digging deeper into the Book of Job, I am learning more about lament. That is one way to respond to difficulties and troubles that come our way.
All of us are used to grumbling, to complaining, to protest. We grumble about the traffic, we complain about the poor customer service, we protest about the way we have been treated by others. But to lament is to enter the deep feeling of loss, sorrow and hurt and offer these feeling up to God. To lament is to allow painful emotions to surface and then be expressed to God. Lament is not about being polite or restrained or holding it together. No, lament is about tapping honestly into our emotions in a way that sometimes transcends words. Lament is real talk with God about the ways we are hurting. It’s an honest prayer to God about where we are, not where we are pretending to be.
When we share our hurts and sorrows with God, we can find that we are not abandoned. Instead, God meets us and even shares with us in our sorrow. We find that God is One who weeps with us in our sorrow. We discover that God is someone safe to run to in the midst of our pain. God’s grace meets us where we are, not where we pretend to be.
It seems to me that lament is the prayer language we have too often neglected. We often skip over the brokenness we find in life. We try to push down the hard and hurtful feelings. But if we are going to live with a healthy, biblical understanding of the fullness of God, we will need to have an honest way to recognize our loss and sorrow and somehow share that with God. While lament may not change our circumstances, it will help clear up some of our misunderstandings about God. It will also help us get free of the most harmful parts of loss and sorrow. When we lament to God, we the fullness of God is more clearly visible to us. God then has more room to work within us and around us.
Grace and peace,