Lamentations 3: 1, 2; 17, 18; 40,41
I am a man who knows affliction from the rod of his anger,
One whom he has led and forced to walk in darkness, not in the light;…
My soul is deprived of peace, I have forgotten what happiness is;
I tell myself my future is lost, all that I hoped for from the Lord……..
Let us search and examine our ways that we may return to the Lord!
Let us reach out our hearts toward God in heaven!
In a book I read recently, the author said we should learn to lament. He quoted a child who said ‘sometimes it feels better when you moan’. He also said the most common type of psalm in the bible is the lament. My immediate thought was ‘there’s a whole book in the bible called lamentations and I’ve never read it’. So I did. Then I started asking myself what it means to lament. I’ve always thought of it as complaining and nobody likes listening to complaints. So why should we learn to lament?
To lament can also mean to grieve. Over the last year and a half, I have read a lot about grief and loss and I’ve learned that grief isn’t limited to the large life-changing losses that occur in our lives. I’ve discovered that I can learn to recognize and grieve the small everyday losses and in doing so it makes it easier to deal with the larger losses. Maybe it is also true that if I lament (the literal meaning is to show sorrow for) the small missteps or downfalls in my life, then the larger ones will be easier to recognize, acknowledge and ask forgiveness for.
In reflecting on verses 1 and 2, I’m reminded that as a child I learned if I did something wrong, I would most likely get disciplined by whoever was in authority. Verses 17 and 18 make it clear what happens within us - within our soul when we sin. Verses 40 and 41 tell us what we need to do about it.
Through the next few weeks of Lent I hope to be more aware of those times when I think ‘Oh I shouldn’t have done that’. Even the little things like ‘I shouldn’t have eaten so much’ (commitment to eating healthy) or ‘I should have been more understanding’ (what would Christ do?). These are the times I need to lament, turning to the Lord in prayer, acknowledging my sin and accepting the discipline needed to make my life better.
How do you "show sorrow"? Is there a time when you have been angry at God and how did you feel about it?