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Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Lament


















I keep thinking about Dr. William Varner's October 31st blog post on the lament.* He spoke of the lament being a legitimate form of prayer. He included this quote, complete with its citation, "'I suspect that God prefers to be related to in anger by His children than not to be related to at all' (Engaging With the Holy Spirit by Graham Cole, 33)."

Psalm 13 is an example of a lament, "How long, O LORD? Will You forget me forever? How long will you hide Your face from me? How long shall I take counsel in my soul, having sorrow in my heart all the day? How long will my enemy be exalted over me? Consider and answer me, O LORD my God; enlighten my eyes, or I will sleep the sleep of death, and my enemy will say, 'I have overcome him,' and my adversaries will rejoice when I am shaken" (13:1-4).

Reading about the concept of the lament being legitimate was important to me. Sometimes spiritual truth takes me by surprise, and I have to mull it over for a while. This is one of those times. I am still pondering the idea, looking at it from various angles, considering the implications.

There is a lot of suffering in this world, and when we are aching, we need to know that we can be honest with God in our pain. He understands the ugliness resulting from the fall. He understands the terrible things we must often endure because of the corrupting influence of sin over our environment and our hearts. Jesus experienced the ugliness in an all too personal way: pursued by Herod when He was a little baby; misunderstood and rejected by His people; betrayed by His friend who had traveled and ministered with Him for three years; suffered beatings, mockings, a flogging; accused and convicted in spite of His innocence, and finally murdered on the humiliating, wretched cross—the place where He endured the worst torture of all, separation from the Father He had been with for all eternity.

Even Jesus, when He was in the garden of Gethsemane, begged that God take away what was to come. But that prayer of anguish, that lament, did a work in His heart and brought Him to a place of acceptance, lining up His heart and will with the Father's heart and will. This is what God does for us as well when we go before Him in prayer, whether we are jubilant or saddened or angry, He will listen. He will direct. He will gently steer our thoughts into right thinking and align our will with His. He will carry us when we do not have the strength to walk.
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*My son allerted me to Dr. Varner's blog, DrIBEX Ideas. He was my son's professor at The Master's College. I recommend that after you have finished reading the post at the link below, you wander around his blog, it is edifying and worth your time.

1 comment:

Matt said...

Thanks for the link to Varner's blog. It looks good. I didn't see the link at first and wondered how I would find it. ;-)