The Language of Lament

Continued from "Watching and Waiting"

As we watch and wait for the Lord to fully usher in the end of sin and suffering, the Lord has graciously given us the language of lament so that we can bring our sorrow, confusion, and anger to him—and we can do so together. It is good and right for the people of God to weep together in lament and to proclaim that this is not the way things are supposed to be. In doing so, we also proclaim that there is hope because of Jesus—that a day is coming when there will be no more mourning, no more death, no more pain. And we do not do this alone. We have been purposefully placed into a family that is called to surround us and walk alongside us as we face suffering, hardship, and loss—to pray with and for us, to weep with us, to cry out to God on our behalf when we no longer have the strength to.

But how can we follow Paul’s exhortation in Romans 12:15 not only to rejoice together, but also to weep alongside one another, if we do not know who amongst us is weeping? Our church wants to know you and your story—and this includes the hard places in your life. We deeply desire to walk alongside you with prayer and friendship, and to cry out to the Lord with you. If you are feeling alone in a season of lament, I want to encourage you to allow your brothers and sisters in Christ to enter into that with you. Maybe that means opening up to a trusted friend or leader in your Community Group or Bible study. Perhaps it means participating in one of our Care Connect gatherings where you can find friendship with others walking through a similar season. Our staff gathers every weekday morning at 9:00 am to pray and they would love to be able to pray for you by name, offering up specific requests on your behalf. Our deacons and deacon assistants consider it a privilege to minister to you in tangible ways when you need practical help amidst seasons of hardship. Our pastors, elders, and elder advisors are devoted to praying with and for you, shepherding you, and crying out to God on your behalf—and they want to come alongside you in that.

At our most recent Care Connect, which was a gathering for women walking through pregnancy loss and infertility, the entirety of the evening was spent simply sharing our stories with one another and bringing our tears before the Lord. The next day someone shared the following: “I think I had forgotten how lonely grief can be until I found myself in a room of people who openly shed tears with me as I talked about my experiences. People who can’t change my circumstances (and didn’t try to) but who came together to lament with hope because we belong to the one who is making all things new.” Friends, let’s be a church of people who rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. Let’s be curious about the people around us and their stories—eager to walk alongside them through both seasons of great joy and great sorrow. Let’s cultivate the humility to allow others to come alongside us in the difficult chapters of our stories so that they might weep with us, walk with us, and point us to Jesus.

My heart yearns for the day when death will be no more and there will no longer be any mourning, crying, or pain. I imagine yours does too. Together may we cling to this knowledge: a day is coming when the language of lament will fade away, never to be needed again. The resurrection has provided the ultimate answer to our laments, and with both rejoicing and lamenting we can look forward with hope to Christ’s return. Until then, may we walk together toward that joyous day as a family of sojourners who trust in the one who gives us the grace to keep trusting.

If you would like to share how we can be in prayer for you, or if you need help connecting with our pastoral staff, elders or elder advisors, deacons or deacon assistants, please reach out to me.
Catherine Duffin
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