My soul is in deep anguish.
How long, LORD, how long?
Turn, LORD, and deliver me;
save me because of your unfailing love.
I hurt for the seniors- high school and college, those dear ones whose glittering once-in-a-lifetime moments have been snatched. And for their loved ones who won’t stand in the bleachers, tears flowing, as they clap with pride.
I confess, I too am heartbroken. Last Friday was to be my Noah’s college graduation day but COVID-19 stole it from him. From me too.
LAMENT’, verb intransitive
1. To mourn; to grieve; to weep or wail; to express sorrow.
Websters 1828 Online Dictionary
Let. It. Out.
Lament is an antiquated word; we don’t hear it much outside of a Biblical context and it is not the same as a complaint or a pity party. It’s a letting it out to God kinda thing. You’ll find loads of lamenting in the Bible, in fact, there’s an entire book called Lamentations, and the Psalms flow with its songs. All the major Bible characters (including Jesus) uttered lamentation prayers. Even God, the creator of the world, expressed grief over what His creation had come to (Genesis 6:6).
I have heard it said that God’s Word is “the record of human sorrows”. King David not only expelled his sorrows on record but beyond that, his utterances can be an example to us today in the time of COVID-19.
So many have lost so much to this enemy.
There is wisdom in lament. When we acknowledge our grief, loss, and disappointment as David did, healing comes (or at least, it can begin). I find when I don’t acknowledge my pain, my emotions balloon inside me and escape in surprising ways, like when tears fall over something as seemingly silly as a Bass Pro Shop’s commercial. Or a spark of annoyance flies at an innocent four-legged bystander.
Many of us are counting our blessings while quarantined during this pandemic, as I am. I write down my gratitude list daily, but I have lately added new lines to the page: laments. Here’s how a few of mine began last week:
~I am terribly sad Noah does not get to walk with his class for college graduation…
~What a drag that Micah has to celebrate his 16th in quarantine…
~Lord, I do not qualify for unemployment and I am worried about our finances…
~The blues are taking me down today, God…
Yes, these are first world problems. I can be grateful I don’t live in poverty – hungry, and sick with the Corona Virus in a third world country. But at the same time, it is more than fine to bemoan what is tough in my own life right now, because it is my reality.
Your reality is your reality too. So, Let. It. Out.
Giving ourselves the compassionate green light to mourn is necessary in these times.
I encourage you to begin a daily gratitude practice if you do not already have one. And beyond that, express your sorrow. Keep a record of blessings and disappointments, then step back, and observe the state of your soul as you watch God’s unfailing love deliver delight and usher in healing.