Monday, November 13th
Devotional written by Pastor Brian Howard, Teaching Pastor
THE ART OF LAMENT
Benjamin Franklin is quoted as saying, “…in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” While he is certainly right about death and taxes, he is missing one that will be part of all our lives: grief. Whether it is the heartbreaking images of global conflicts, a crisis in your home, or the pain of an ailing body, no one lives long without a deep sense of suffering, loss, and grief. Despite every advance in technology, medicine, culture, and science, nothing has been able to resolve this permanent part of the human condition.
While everyone in the world experiences grief, those of us who believe in an all-knowing, all-powerful, all-present, and loving God are left with a difficult set of questions: Where is God in all of this? Is He there? Does He care? Has He abandoned us? Will he ever make it better? All of these questions are as old as humanity itself. While philosophers and theologians can give intellectually satisfying answers, they often fail to quell our deep emotions.
Fortunately, the Bible is filled with people who are well acquainted with grief and have given us roads to take through the desert of suffering. Psalm 77 is one of those roads, and it introduces us to a kind of prayer common to the people of God: lament. Mark Vroegop, the author of “Dark Clouds Deep Mercy,” defines laments as “a prayer in pain that leads to trust.” This week, we are going to explore the art of lament. For those grieving right now, I hope this week begins a journey toward healing and wholeness for you. For those who are not grieving right now, I hope this week equips you to walk with those who are hurting in your life.
For Today: Read all of Psalm 77 and ask the Holy Spirit to guide you in learning the art of lament.