Over the last few months, many of our friends and family members have walked through intense loss and suffering. The last few years have been difficult for many, and my guess is that you’re in a similar situation. There are very few who have been left unscathed. Whether suffering has come from the pandemic, hurricanes, snowstorms, wildfires, unexpected medical diagnoses, or maybe even the sin of others—hardship and grief have plagued our communities.
But grief and loss are not new to humanity, and they definitely don’t come as a surprise to our God.
Throughout Scripture, we see a God who draws close to the brokenhearted. I love how Scripture doesn’t just make room for those who walk through grief and suffering. Rather, the Bible is a story of suffering that gives birth to life. The main character in the grand narrative of Scripture is a good and suffering Servant, one who eventually suffers a terrible death so that others could have access to eternal life. Suffering isn’t foreign to the story of Christianity; it’s a central theme.
I once had a friend tell me, “God is big enough to carry your sadness. He’s big enough to carry any questions you may have. He is big enough for all of you—so bring your full self to the table. Leave no part behind, even the hard and messy parts. Take them to our good and loving Father.”
That’s the thing about our God. There’s no need for pretense. He doesn’t expect us to come to Him, pretending that life is okay, even when it’s not. He surely doesn’t need us to perform or earn His affection. Instead, He gives it freely to us. Through great suffering on the cross, God has given us His unconditional love and has promised to one day come again and right every wrong.
The book of Lamentations is a great example of how, while we wait for the second coming of Christ, sin, grief, and suffering will still wreak havoc on this earth. And we don’t ignore those heartaches, rather we lament them. We make space for the suffering and allow it to drive us more closely to God’s love where we find stability and power beyond what we can imagine.
So today, for those of you who are burdened and heavy laden, I want to give you that same invitation that my friend gave me many years ago. Lamentation invites us to bring our full selves, our full lament to the Lord. And as we lament, whether from wounds from our sin or the sins of others, we cry out, “Bring us back to yourself, O Lord, so that we may return to you; renew our life as in days before.”
May you find solace in lament today in the arms of your Savior, and may He renew your life in the days to come.
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Join us this spring as we study what it means to lament in a biblical way. We’ll discover how to respond to difficult circumstances, all while maintaining our faith in God and what He is able to do. We would love to have you join us for this important study!
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