The familiar hymn ‘Abide With Me’ says, “Change and decay in all around I see, O Thou who changest not, abide with me.” This is the prayer and request of the believer in times of great trial, fear, and struggle – ‘O Lord, come be near to me!’
But as churches have closed, and as isolation has caused discouragement to fester within our hearts, it can feel as though the Lord is far from us. The Psalmist accurately reflects this sentiment when he writes, “How long, O Lord? Will You forget me forever?” (Psalm 13:1)
What do we do, then, when we long for hope but find ourselves battling the dark of discouragement and the temptation of the enemy?
Our Lord has provided His people with a powerful and helpful gift—lament.
Lament is the practice of confessing our grief, sorrow, and doubts before God, but then finding peace and rest by turning our gaze towards our eternal hope in Christ.
Back in May, Pat Sczebel, Jody Cross, and I began to pen a lament hymn as a help to the church in these trying days. As regions apply stricter regulations, as churches are forced to limit gatherings, and as holiday seasons bring loneliness and sadness rather than family and joy, we all long for hope.
We pray that this hymn of lament will help the church to express our universal struggle with grief, sin, and the brokenness of this world, but then also help encourage us with the abiding eternal hope that is found in Christ and the steadfast love of our great God.