A Time For Lament

Save me, O God! For the waters have come up to my neck.
I sink in deep mire, where this is no foothold; I have come into deep waters and the flood sweeps over me. I am weary with my crying out; my throat is parched. My eyes grow dim with waiting for my God…
But as for me, my prayer is to you, O Lord. At an acceptable time, O God, in the abundance of your steadfast love answer me in your saving faithfulness.”
– Psalm 69:1-3,13


There is a time to rejoice, sing with shouts of praise, and burst with deep joy from within. Then, there is a time for lament, seeking God’s face with groaning, pleading, and tears. In Psalm 69, David finds himself in need of rescue. From him, we can stand to learn a lesson or two. When our hearts are overwhelmed, when we find ourselves sinking in deep waters, there is a place of safety we can run to: the arms of God the Father. When a crisis arises, so great that we cannot put it into words, and our hearts fail us for fear, the eyes of our heart must search deeply for God.

God is in the victory, waving His great flag… but He is also in the midst of our pain. The faithful One does not hide behind the scenes as events unfold around us nor as our eyes grow weary with tears. Rather, He stands by our side and holds us tight in the midst of the storm. With a gentle whisper, He speaks words of grace, hope and encouragement.

The Father requires our complete surrender, which helps us trust even more in His sovereign ways even when we do not understand His plans.

As Christians, we are called to live in Christ’s joy and peace but we must also share in His suffering. If you find yourself between a rock and a hard place, God does not mind your plea for help. Believe me: Jesus can relate to your cries of lament. He is well acquainted with suffering. In fact, God welcomes your questions and your prayer of lament at this time, and is ready to rescue you each time you cry out to Him.

Today, do not hold back your words and cry of lament. Your why’s are not the problem. What you need to do with them is direct them to the One whose arms are never too short to save or deliver and is always attentive and compassionate to the cry of your heart.

Your pain demands to be felt but also to be expressed to the Father. David never kept silent in his pain, why should you? His psalms teach us the true heart of prayer so reach out to God in the midst of your pain and crisis. He will hear you and act in His wisdom. Wave the white flag of surrender and watch and see as God does His part in comforting, delivering and carrying you through.

“To pray in pain [and lament], even with its messy struggle and tough questions, is an act of faith where we open up our hearts to God. Prayerful lament is better than silence. ” Mark Vroegop. Dark Clouds, Deep Mercy,31.

Dig Deeper: Psalm 77

Prayer

Express your personal lament to God. Use Psalm 77 as a guide if needed.

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