Even before I knew a lot about the Bible I was always drawn to the Psalms. Not only is it smack dab in the middle, so the Bible naturally opens to it, but it is also full of people with real feelings and real problems crying out to God. That’s something I could immediately relate to and it has given me permission to feel what I feel and trust that God will meet me in it. 

It’s interesting to me that our situation might be new to us, but it’s not new to God. Psalms remind us that from the beginning of time, there were justice issues, pain, tribulation, and heartache. And more importantly, Psalms also reminds us that God was and continues to be faithful to his children.

In today’s readings, you see the focus on justice, then lament followed by God’s wisdom. It’s laments and praise that create a tension most of us understand. Whether it is the problems in our personal lives, our communities, the nation, or our world, I think we all find ourselves in that “lament” season time and again. 

We ask God for rescue; we ask God how long; and we look to God to save us from our enemies just like David did in the Psalms. The takeaway in the reading and many like it is that there is a time and purpose for us to cry out, but we can trust God to show up. In his perfect timing, he provides justice, freedom, healing, and mercy. He did this in David’s life and he continues to do it in ours.

I would encourage you to learn the difference between complaining about your situation and lamenting; as there is a difference. God meets us in the sorrow, pain, grief, and confusion that comes with lamenting. There is something more expressive, more action-oriented in it that opens the door to God’s answers.

Questions for reflection:

  1. Think of a topic heavy on your heart and attempt to write a “lament” about it.
  2. Notice how it feels different.
  3. Listen for God’s voice in response. What does he say?