Lamenting before the Lord

          You have caused my companions to shun me;
                      you have made me a thing of horror to them.
          I am shut in so that I cannot escape;
                      my eye grows dim through sorrow.
          Every day I call on you, O Lord;
                      I spread out my hands to you.

                                                 Psalm 88:8-9

Dear Seekers of the Lord:

       We hear the anguishing lament of the psalmist in those words quoted above. He was writing in a time when he felt abandoned, alone, cut-off from his friends and from God. In our time we can feel that same lament as we face isolation, hear fearful news constantly telling us that we are surrounded by the deadly virus and wonder if we might be the next one overcome by it. Lamenting is a very normal human nature in times of grief, fear and despair. Throughout the Bible, there are examples of deeply faithful people calling out to God, lamenting the questions that have no answer. They call out in their anxious moments, into the darkness, searching for a reason, an explanation, a purpose. But many times the answer that we want to hear never comes, because we live in this broken world and seek the paradise of perfection that is God’s kingdom.

       That is exactly the assured hope that we are to concentrate on, that God’s kingdom is coming. This world is not it. In the face of this present fear, we take confidence in knowing that we are children of God, marked with the cross of Christ and claimed as God’s children forever. “For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:38-39) As PauI writes, we stand confident in the goodness of God that redeem us and claims us from whatever may come. In the face of the fears and worries, we can still be bolstered seeing the joy and the goodness of God.

Perhaps you can write them down. Post on your refrigerator one column listing all your laments of fears and worries, then on the other side list all the blessings, the goodness and the promises that you receive each day and forever. Pray using that list. Let God handle the one column of all laments and you concentrate on the blessings and joys that can never be taken away as a child of God eternal. May you in the face of all our times of lamentations, seek the assurance of the blessings and eternal promise of God that is given to his people.

                                                                                                                    In the peace and grace of God,

                                                                                                                                           Pastor Kirk Griffin