Learning to Lament

July 7, 2024

Book: Psalms

Scripture: Psalm 13

The Psalms are a spilling out of the psalmist’s longings, desires, and thoughts about God. In some cases, as with Psalm 13, the focus is lamentation. Whereas the author seems to feel completely comfortable baring his feelings, Western Christians often feel uncomfortable exploring grief. But why are some uncomfortable with the concept of practicing lamentation? Because Christians are often told to suppress questions to God, believing people should “just get over it.” But this is not what we see in the Psalms.

In Psalm 13, we can gain insight as we read the psalmist’s approach to lament. He takes suffering and pain to God himself as an offering in prayer. Despite the uncertainty of situational outcome, his prayers lead him to trust as he leans on God. What does this specifically look like? It’s comprised of openly posing your questions to God, telling him your feelings and baring your fears, making bold requests, and renewing your trust in him.

What is your response to lamentation, hardship, and grief? Anger? Despair? To whom do you go? Whatever your perspective, consider that lament is a gift from the Lord in which we have the freedom to cry out to him in the gap between pain and his promises.