Perhaps you feel as though you must put on a good face, a decent front for others to see. You don’t like other people seeing you upset or cry because it can be embarrassing. Sometimes you might even put up a front with God. Maybe you think God wants everyone to be perpetually happy and always come to Him with joy and gladness. That would not be an accurate view of God.
One of the most faithful people in Holy Scripture, Jeremiah, freely and unabashedly lamented before God – to the point of wishing he were dead. That’s right. Jeremiah, the incredible prophet of God, was so despondent and ashamed that he wished he were never even born. “Why did I have to be born? Was it just to suffer and die in shame?”
To say that Jeremiah had a difficult ministry is an understatement. He had the ministry from hell, ministering and prophesying to people who neither liked him, nor his message to them. In the middle of it all, Jeremiah through up his hands and let out his complaint to God. Jeremiah was in such misery doing his ministry that he wished he was stillborn.
Jeremiah, however, is not alone in the Bible. David had no scruples about letting God know how he felt about his dire circumstances. Job, likely the most famous sufferer of all, spent time doing nothing but lamenting his terrible losses for months. What all three of them have in common is that they openly grieved with great tears, but never cursed God and did not forsake Him.
Lamentation is the sacred space between intense grieving before God without blaming Him for our losses. I would even argue that lamenting and grieving before God is a necessary spiritual practice which needs full recognition in the Body of Christ. Please think about that last statement, and consider how it might become a reality in your own life and context.
God of all, you feel deeply about a great many things. As your people, we also feel a great depth of emotion when our lives go horribly awry from our dreams and expectations. Hear our lament as we pour out our grief before You; through Jesus, our Savior, with the presence of the Holy Spirit. Amen.