First, direct your conversation to God.
Lament is not directed toward our enemies, toward our suffering, or toward our pain. We direct our conversation to God, the One who hears us. It acknowledges God’s sovereignty in all things, and He is the One in control.
Second, describe your suffering and your pain to Him
The Lord knows our deepest innermost thoughts, but we should make it a point to tell Him what we are feeling! How angry are we about the pain we are experiencing? How frustrated we are that He seems to be silent?
Thirdly, depend on Christ for your help and your hope
We don’t simply pour our sorrows and pain before God and end there. Instead, we then turn to the gospel of Christ to find help and hope in our suffering. We turn a corner, begin to speak the gospel of peace and hope to ourselves, and turn to Jesus and ask Him for comfort, for His perspective, and for Him to act.
In the Bible, lament isn’t about blame, or anger.
Lament is when we acknowledge, in grief and pain, that there’s no getting back what we’ve lost.
Our fixes haven’t worked.
Our world will never be the same again.
We’ve all lost by what’s happened during the Covid-19 crisis, whether or not we’ve been ill or bereaved.
We’ve lost work opportunities, the company of friends and family, the ordinary privilege of doing what we like.
Perhaps most of all, we’ve lost the illusion of invulnerability.
The idea that life will just keep getting better, because scientists and technicians will always keep us safe, healthy and comfortable, turns out not to be true.
These have been dark times, and it’s right to acknowledge that without joining in those calls for someone to take the blame for it.
We shouldn’t try to be cheerful, or to peddle a false optimism about COVID
We shouldn’t pretend we can soon, if at all, go back to how things used to be.
But we are also people of hope, because we follow a crucified and risen Saviour.
We’re familiar with the sadness of Good Friday and Holy Saturday, when hope seemed buried in the tomb; but we also know the rejoicing of Easter Sunday, when Christ rose from the dead. So for us, lament is not the same as despair.
Our hope, though, doesn’t rest on human skills or achievements.
But so is hope, grounded in a faithful God.
We want to move forward to be part of the mission God has called us to.
We want to look at where he wants to lead us and what plans he has for our church family.
But we have to acknowledge the damage COVID did to us and the church, talk with God about it and be ready to move forward.
I read these verses on Pastor Carols O’Donnell’s Facebook page, do join me in speaking them into our lives.
Give praise to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! He is the Father who gives tender love. All comfort comes from Him.
He comforts us in all our troubles.
Now we can comfort others when they are in trouble.
We ourselves have received comfort from God.
We share the sufferings of Christ.
We also share His comfort.
If we are having trouble, it is so that you will be comforted and renewed.
If we are comforted, it is so that you will be comforted.
Then you will be able to put up with the same suffering we have gone through.
Our hope for you remains firm. We know that you suffer just as we do. In the same way, God comforts you just as He comforts us.
Brothers and sisters, we want you to know about the hard times we suffered during COVID
We were having a lot of trouble.
It was far more than some could stand.
We even thought we were going to die.
In fact, in our hearts we felt as if we were under the sentence of death. But that happened so that we would not depend on ourselves but on God. He raises the dead to life.
God has saved us from deadly dangers. And He will continue to do it. We have put our hope in Him. He will continue to save us.