We know how to whine, blame, gossip, complain, pout, and stoically ignore. We can share our misery and disappointment by phone, text, e-mail, or social media. But, do we remember how to cry out in lament and share our pain with God?
A Biblical lament begins with the recognition that things are not right. Martha and Mary cry out, “Lord, if you had been here…” The dry bones of Israel cry out, “Our bones are dried up, and our hope is lost; we are cut off completely.” The Psalmist recalls, “Out of the depths have I called to you, O Lord.”
The lament continues with the recognition that things can and should change. Martha recognizes that “even now I know that God will give you whatever you ask of him,” the Psalmist waits, and Ezekiel speaks prophesy.
The beautiful conclusion of the prayer of lament is our recognition that only God can change things and our faith that God will act in ways far better than we can imagine. A faith more keen than a watchman waiting for morning. A faith that God will be glorified in all things. A faith that God can take what is broken and make it whole, what is wrong and make it right, what is dead and make it live.
In the prayer of lament, God gently turns our sorrow into worship. Praise be to God!