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Posts Tagged ‘#lament’

Lord, thank you for a new day, but especially for a new year.

We come to you today, the start of new year, because you are our God, our Creator and Redeemer. There is no other like you. You were and are and will ever be … and we bow humbly to you.

We are tired, we are all tired … but you know that.

What a year our world has walked through. The new normal has affected every area of our lives from our jobs, to shopping, to school, to recreation, to socialization, to hygiene to even church. Change is always wearying, but these changes … God, it’s kind of gotten to us at times. Yet, when we look at the suffering of others, who have experienced mourning, who have experienced natural disasters, who have experienced warfare during this pandemic, we feel selfish … our new normal is nothing compared to those challenges. Yet … you know. You designed that our minds and bodies and souls work together, that we humans be together … and we thank-you for offering yourself for our rest.

“Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn of me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30)

We are discouraged, we have all been discouraged … but you know that.

Lord, it has seemed that bad news has been the theme of the year. Whether it was racial injustices or riots, politics, fires, natural disasters, homeless refuges around the world and famines … we are discouraged. Our social connections have decreased and when we looked to social media for connection, anger and fear have made social media less about connection and more about division. We simply need a little good news.

” … the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the afflicted; He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to captives and freedom to prisoners” (Isaiah 61:1)

We are longing for loved ones, we have all missed loved ones … but you know that.

Loneliness is pandemic in our world, God. Out of fear of and protection from Covid, we have been keeping our distance from others. Our children have not been having play dates, our teens have missed going to events with peers, our young adults are missing socializing, our elders … Lord, so many are so very isolated, so very alone. We ask that this new year might be one of reunions with loved ones … we implore you to make a way out of this lonely desert.

” … do not fear (loneliness), for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” (Isaiah 41:10)

We need you … we often don’t realize or do anything about it … but you know that too.

God, we need you. If anything has taught us this in our life, this pandemic year of new normal has been our motivator. When we are tired, you give us rest. When we are discouraged, you have given us good news. When we are lonely, we only need to seek and you are there. As the doors to our church services have closed for in person worship, we have encountered the challenge of choosing to connect online, in podcasts. As all that we know of worship services has been stripped away is your plan that we come back to YOU, rather than to the practises that have been our habit, perhaps these practices have even become the focus of our worship, rather than the specs with which to see you?

“God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” So we say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid.” (Hebrews 13:5-6)

We leave these heart cries with you, trusting you to gather our tears. We trust you with our sorrows and what you will allow in and through them.

You are our God and we will serve only you.

* With our first breath we cry out … crying out is a most human response. Lament is a crying out to God. It is a declaration to Him of our sorrow, discomfort, sadness. It is being real before the God Almighty, announcing to him what he already knows … it is a step of faith, an indicator of intimacy and trust. Trust to share our pain and to leave it in his holy hands. To lament is to acknowledge God for who he is, it is to cry out our distress, then it is to leave our tears, our heartaches, our sorrows with Him … an act of full trust and confidence. It is to cast our cares, our worries, concerns and anxieties on Him … for He cares for us (1 Peter 5:7).

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Ever cried in your pillow? How about punched something (a wall, a tree)? Ever stood in a forest and screamed at the top of your lungs? Or stared out the window, but your thoughts were so far away, you didn’t see anything? Ever sighed from a place so deep inside that you wondered if there was any air left in your body? Have you ever waved fists up in the air, while stating your sorrowful case before God?

Ever lamented?

lament … it is the feeling and/or expressing of regret or disappointment (Oxford dictionary). We all lament at some point.

I wrote this post eight years ago, though it originated from my experience, closer to fifteen years ago.

I was struggling to see, to dream even, how God might ever be able to penetrate into the heart of another. There was nothing within me, my vivid imagination, my belief in God’s redemption, that could give me hope for this person.

And so my soul began to groan in lament ...

I remember, ugly tears falling from my face, head shaking in disappointment and hopelessness when a song started reverberating through my memory.

How long O Lord ?

Though the Bible has ample examples of lamenting (the Psalms, Job, and, of course, Lamentations), it is not something that we often see, or do, in our churches. I am not sure that church is the place where lamenting should occur, but the absence of this practice (at church) could make people think that it is something that we should not do.

Often our Christian circles can be so … clean, happy, perfect …

UNREAL!

We are not living on the side of eternity, we are living lives in this temporal, sin-filled worlds, with sin-filled bodies and minds. We live lives of sorrow, disappointment, worry, sickness, heartbreak and agony. To live authentically does not mean we paste a smile on our faces and sing Que Sera, Sera (Whatever Will Be, Will Be).

To lament is to pound our chests, and, with fountains falling from our faces, cry out,

“God, I hurt!”

“God, I don’t know where you are in this!”

“God, did you leave me? Because I feel so alone.”

“God, why did you allow my enemies to do this to me?”

“God, I am so lonely.”

“God, why did you …

forsake (abandon) me?”

David lamented.

Job lamented.

Jeremiah lamented.

Rachel lamented.

Jesus lamented.

To lament is to powerfully, passionately voice our sorrow, our agony. To lament is to pour out your heart. To lament is to be the most real we can be. To lament to to come to the end of our rope … resulting in the abdicating of power and ability to do it alone, anymore.

When we lament, we speak, we cry, we moan in the most pure and beautiful language to God’s ears. To lament is to be on our way to acknowledging that we cannot do it (life) without Him.

God can handle our laments … our God has broad shoulders, and he wants us to lay the weight of our world on them.

And so, this song, this Psalm (for the words of the song come from Psalm 13) has been playing in my mind again … not so much out of current lament, so much as a reminder of fifteen years ago, how I lamented from the deepest depths of my being …

and how I am now seeing God’s hand on what I had lamented as hopeless. He is giving “light to my eyes” as “I trust in his unfailing love.”

Lament will come again, perhaps just around the corner … but the one to whom I lament … his shoulders can carry the weight of our lament … he desires it from us.

Until then, even when the lament comes, I will remember that, “he has been good to me.

How long, Lord? Will you forget me forever?
    How long will you hide your face from me?
How long must I wrestle with my thoughts
    and day after day have sorrow in my heart?
    How long will my enemy triumph over me?

Look on me and answer, Lord my God.
    Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep in death,
and my enemy will say, “I have overcome him,”
    and my foes will rejoice when I fall.

But I trust in your unfailing love;
    my heart rejoices in your salvation.
I will sing the Lord’s praise,
    for he has been good to me.

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Karla Sullivan

Progressive old soul wordsmith

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