But first... Lament
By Cindy Goding
As we approach Thanksgiving week, I want us all to take some time to prepare our hearts by first lamenting over sin in the world, in society, and in our lives.
Lamenting is more than just being sad, it’s more than just sorrow. It’s what we see in the bible when prophets or people tear their clothes and cry out to God, when Jesus weeps over his friend Lazarus’ death. Lament allows us to make room in our hearts as we confess and grieve our sins. Lament renews our mind and allows for God to move in mighty ways. Lamenting connects us together in sadness and grief because of our faith in God and what He is able to do. We don’t have to “go through the same thing” to have an understanding. With lament, we can truly come alongside each other in grief and support and encourage through what God is doing in the midst of any sadness and particular situation. Lament allows empathy to deepen a sense of shouldering each other’s burdens because we care about the spiritual health of each other. We desire sanctification, we desire for ourselves, and for each other to become more like Jesus each day, so we lament together as a united body of Christ.
Lament allows us to truly acknowledge the brokenness of this world. The evil in the world, the darkness in the world, the “unfairness” in the world. Lamenting allows us to say, “BUT GOD”... Lamenting grants us the opportunity to witness and proclaim the grace, mercy, and love of God. Lament allows us to petition to God and our faith in God promises that our laments ARE heard and will be answered in his timing and by his will.
In James it says, “Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Be wretched and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you.” -James 4:8-10
There is purpose behind lament. Lamenting allows us to humble ourselves, to right our posture and our hearts before God. So when the week of Thanksgiving comes, we are cleansed and purified and able to truly express gratitude and joy.
So lament, take the time. Reflect and sit in the grief and the sorrow of your sin, repent, ask for forgiveness, extend forgiveness, humbling yourself before God.
Because God is SO good, and so kind and merciful that he allows us to recognize our sin and turn from it. He desires a relationship with us that isn’t marred by sin. He forgives without bitterness, he loves without hidden agendas, he freely blesses those who are faithful, and protects his beloved sons and daughters.
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.” -Romans 15:13