To you, O LORD, I cry, and to the Lord I plead for mercy:
Complaining. That is how I have viewed lamenting in the past. We know we aren’t supposed to complain. Whiners haven’t accepted the life God has given them. They want something different, a little bit more, another life, different talents, other circumstances. To me “lamenting” seemed like Christian version of complaining and griping at God.
The Psalms are a series of laments written by a “man after God’s heart.”
We know well how Elijah despaired and yet God revealed his presence to this prophet. 1 Kings 19
Job cried out to God without reserve, yet Job’s hardships were born out of God’s commendation of his righteousness.
Paul begged God for a change of circumstances. 2 Corinthians 12
Jesus agonized to the point of sweating blood as he begged the Father for a change of plans. Luke 22
In spite of many, many more examples throughout Scripture I am slow to learn. Lamenting is not complaining, but it is being honest with God in our weakness and begging him for the strength to continue. It is humbling ourselves before him and recognizing our inability without him. It is laying ourselves bare before him and surrendering to his will in our lives. It is admitting we don’t see the purpose in circumstances or struggles, but choosing to trust in him. He welcomes our laments, our fears, our weakness, our faith and he carries us through it all.
Though the fig tree should not blossom, nor the fruit be on the vines, the produce of the olive fail and the fields yield no food, the flock be cut off from the fold and there be no herd in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the LORD; I will take joy in the God of my salvation. GOD, the LORD, is my strength, he makes my feet like the deer’s; he makes me tread on my high places.