I wanted to write this morning to praise God and thank you for such a meaningful Sunday morning as a church.
We live in a world with nearly endless amounts of pain from sin, that has led to war, famine, oppression, racism, terrorism, and conflicts of every sort. Our corporate worship sometimes leaves little room for emotions of grieving and mourning. We are so accustomed to coming to praise, that it’s possible that on any given Sunday, you have a hurt that needs to be expressed first in sorrow so that the Lord can bring you relief. With the tragic events of this past week throughout our nation, and in our own community, the Lord guided our team to make a change of plans in our worship service to create space for lament.
I learned a lesson Sunday: leave room for every emotion. As our service began with the song, “Lord I Need You,” I could immediately sense a hungriness in our church to call out to our Lord. Through song, through scripture, and through gathering in small groups for prayer, God ministered so well to our church yesterday. We were able to un-bottle our tears, our anxiety, and even our anger, as we cried out to God for those who suffer so terribly from the effects of sin and evil. We related with the Psalmist, David, in Psalm 5, who rocked back and forth between indignation at the wickedness of his enemies, and recognition of his own wickedness that brought him to humble gratefulness for the mercy he had received.
So much of our worship and daily living-out our faith is cover-up. We are quick to pretend we’re all okay, that we’re mature enough and strong enough, and we tend to hide emotions that we might deem “weak emotions.” David’s cries out of weakness were urgent and intense. The cries of Israel in Lamentations are powerful and passionate. Jesus, in all of His power, wept for lost friends and cried tears of anxiety before His Father in heaven. When we repress our tears, our fears, and our weakness, we continue to carry them with us. These emotions can be like an infection that turns into a nasty sickness in us. Fears will become cold-heartedness. Anxiety might become detachment. Hopelessness could lead to indifference.
Let’s bring our suffering into God’s presence. Let’s go as deep as the hurt is within us, trust our good God to bring us out of the pit, and raise us up in His strength. Our honest lament, when laid before our strong God helps us to face personal suffering and the troubles of this world, and it reminds us of the day in which all suffering, weeping, and death will be no more.
I’m grateful for a church that did this yesterday. Let’s keep doing it every day. And may The Lord bless you, and keep you; The Lord make His face shine on you, and be gracious to you; The Lord lift up His countenance on you, and give you peace.’ (Numbers 6:24-26)
Trusting Jesus with You,