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Posts Tagged ‘#worshipthroughthelament’

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It is early morning, and I am sitting in my cozy chair, with only the light from my deck, and my computer screen. I glance out the window to the beauty of the recent snowfalls. The rain is falling steadily, and the only other sound is my wonder dog, snoring in the chair beside me. I have just received notice that school/work is cancelled due to dangerous road conditions. I am at peace.

But, with the rain falling, I know that dark, wet, slushy storms are just around the corner.

In our neck of the Pacific Northwest woods, some would say that the rain is the signal that the storms are coming to an end. Snowfall amounts have been adding up to record-breaking totals for five days straight.

For me, the snow is not a storm, for I have learned to live with snow, to move with snow … which means to slow down and to embrace the snow.

But the rain … I still wrestle with the rain.

When the rains fall, day after day after day, there is a weight that begins to descend that leads me to a dark and soul-lamenting that I cannot choose to leave … I have to ride the storm, and wait for it to pass.

I have been learning, in the last few years, to approach this dreaded season differently, as I have been leaning in to lament.

Through this process, I have been learning not to fear the ‘wet and dark season’ but worshipping through it. In essence I have been practising what the author (Jeremiah?) of Lamentations has shared.

It is interesting that the Hebrew word for the book means “how” and the Greek translation of the title means “lament”. I, in my grand theological studies (tongue in cheek) like to think of the book of Lamentations as meaning, how to lament.

In this book, I see great lamenting, being very real before God (heck, he knows how we feel anyway, we might as well admit it when we feel we are defeated, crushed, in the pit). But, I also see hope (3:22-25):

“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.”
The Lord is good to those who wait for him,
to the soul who seeks him.”

Lamenting does not only happen in the book of Lamentations.

There are numerous Psalms (aka sacred songs) in which the author is lamenting, weeping, sorrow filled, and they are usually directed specifically to God. My favourite is Psalm 13, which begins with “How long, Lord?” and ends with “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.”

I recently saw this quote (below), which was like a thesis statement for me in my pursuit of understanding lamenting:

“The whole point of lamentation is you don’t use your pain as an excuse not to worship; you actually take your pain and you bring it with you before the alter, and you stand there with your pain and you say, “Though all this is true, yet I will rejoice in You!” It is the highest form of worship that exists.” Graham Cooke

And so, today, as I watch the rains fall, I will lament, and I will praise God, for he is faithful.

In practising praise in the midst of my lament of rain, I am growing a practise that I pray will hold me up when the greater storms of life descend, and my response will be to lean in to lament, and to continue to worship God, for he is faithful.

 

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