Ask yourself what you were thinking about two weeks ago. You’ll be reminded of how completely different your life has become in less than fourteen days. If you’re like me, last week seems like a blur. ‘Did that happen on Monday?’ It feels like a year has passed by.
Change marches quickly, and change consumes all of our waking attention. With every closure of a border, a school, a business, or a church building, we have to pivot so often that we’re spinning in circles.
If we’re spinning, likely we haven’t had a chance to sit down, let alone pause and reflect on what has just happened.
Most of all, we need to lament our losses.
To lament is to confess what is really going on. It’s laying out the facts.
Lament indexes the cares and sorrows of your heart.
Now you might think that lament is just complaining. Lots of people are doing that. They’re getting angry and harsh as their complaints mount up.
Lament is not a mere complaint.
Lament carries our cares to God. Lists of losses are lifted up to our Lord.
Some might object and think that venting to God seems unspiritual. Yet the Psalms are filled with divinely inspired laments.
A lament found frequently in the Psalms addressed God with a questioning cry “How long, O LORD?” (Pss 6:3, 13:1, 35:17, 79:5, 80:4, 89:46, 90:13, 94:3).
We are all thinking, “How long will this last?”.
Instead, we need to aim our question, “How long, O LORD?”
What have you lost? Your health? Your job? Your freedom? Your relationships? Your church gathering?
The hymn writer Anne Steele expressed laments in this way:
Hast Thou not bid me seek Thy face,
And shall I seek in vain?
And can the ear of sovereign grace,
Be deaf when I complain?
No still the ear of sovereign grace,
Attends the mourner’s prayer
Oh may I ever find access,
To breathe my sorrows there
Don’t forget to lament your losses to God, “casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you” (1 Peter 5:7).