Lamenting isn’t something Americans do well. We know how to complain, whine, throw pity parties, but lamenting is completely different.
Lamenting is taking our deep sadness and trouble and bringing it to the only one who can help, God Himself. Realizing the God who made us is the only one who can sort out our difficulty. Admitting that we are helpless without Him.
So here is a very private letter to God. I don’t think he would mind me sharing it with you.
” Cursed is the man who trusts in mankind and makes flesh his strength, and whose heart turns away from the LORD. For he will be like a bush in the desert and will not see when prosperity comes, But will live in stony wastes in the wilderness, a land of salt without inhabitant. Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD and whose trust is the LORD. For he will be like a tree planted by the water that extends its roots by a stream and will not fear when the heat comes; But its leaves will be green, And it will not be anxious in a year of drought nor cease to yield fruit.” Jeremiah 17:5-8
Dear Abba Father,
My heart is so heavy. I feel like a bush in the desert, not like the tree by the river.
We are isolated and alone. Forbidden to gather or meet. Grieving the loss of contact.
A handshake, a hug,
And a little bit of us dies every day.
We are becoming more inward focused. We weren’t made to be alone. We were made to interact and come along side. To work hard for the common good.
Instead we are turning on each other. Friend against friend, neighbor against neighbor, disagreements over how we should move forward, what to do, what not to do. Anger is close to the surface, ready to boil over if you don’t think like me, if you don’t act like me. We each have our own “expert”. Woe to the man who listens to the wrong one.
Father, please open our communities back up. I pray that those who have an evil agenda would be thwarted. That those who are ignorant would gain wisdom, that those who are deceived would see the truth, that those who are sick would be healed, that doctors who have answers would be heard, that leaders grasping for power would be put down and removed.
Most of all that those who need the gospel would be receptive, that they would seek and find, that we would speak boldly about the hope within us.
Punish evil men and forces that would do harm to our families, churches, cities. I pray that truth would prevail, that the veil of deception would be swept away.
I ask these things not because we deserve it for we are a wicked, sinful people. We fail to turn our faces fully to you. We rely on ourselves, our leaders and our governments to “save” us.
We turn in repentance. You alone give us life and breath. It is through you that all things hold together. I pray that you would show yourself strong in defeating this enemy. They are nothing to you. With a word you can dismiss the virus. With a word you can expose the proud and corrupt.
I pray that you would do it in a way that is unmistakably you. Do a new spectacular thing.
Today the birds are still gathering, the sun is still shining, the trees are springing to life. The wind is calm, the waters are still.
I believe you will act. I know you hear. I know you see and take notice. Bring salvation to many through this. Soften hearts to finally see you. Bring repentance and a renewed commitment to you and your ways.
Thank you for being a God who is not sleeping or silent. Thank you that you are already at work in this world gone mad.
Today I will honor you with my mind, with my actions, with my voice.
“I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Your works, and my soul knows it very well.” Psalm 139:14
(“Mourning Into Dancing” – Copyright 2016, Karen Pickering)