Lament as a pathway to hope (part 1)

I don’t know if this is a guy thing or just me, but I have found it hard when my wife is struggling with life. Let me explain, when I say hard, I mean, I don’t know what to say or how to help. You see, I just want to fix things for her. Solve all her problems. But, get this, I can’t. I can’t fix all her problems. Why? Because, I am not God. So, how do I help her when she is feeling empty, sad, at a loss with everything? Friends, here is an article that I have found really helpful. And if I am honest, not just for Lesley, but for me too. The article though won’t fit in one Minute from a Minister, so part two will come next week. “This was not how my life was supposed to turn out”—I’ll never forget when my friend uttered these words to me. It was such an honest and piercing confession, coated with grief over a season of life that had been lost and subsequently replaced with one that was unwanted and unwelcome. I found myself empathizing with her sorrow because I, too, have had that same pain—a heart that longed for the life I dreamed about rather than the life I had. All of us have some sense of longing—a dull pain constantly reminding us of the things our hearts desire that we currently do not have. Whether it is an absentee parent, a broken marriage, loss of a loved one, or feelings of loneliness, this longing is birthed from circumstances we desperately wish would change. Any longing that persists over an extended period of time grows wearisome. Many times, it leaves us looking for an escape—we endlessly scroll through social media, binge Netflix shows and overbook our calendars. But these escape routes lead to dead ends, masking our pain without ever healing it. While culture urges us to escape our pain, the story of the Bible tells us to embrace it. In the Old Testament, the people of God are no strangers to struggle and hardship, especially David. His psalms of lament are a moving expression of the anguish and despair he experiences because of numerous difficulties. Psalm 13 serves as a beautiful example, demonstrating a progression of three basic principles of lament and showing us what it looks like to embrace our pain and find hope in the midst of sorrow. The three basic principles for lament are, acknowledge, request and trust. They are outlined and explained how they work in the next part of the article.


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