“God, why? What has she done to deserve this? She has loved you and served you all her life. I don’t understand why you’re letting her go through this. It doesn’t seem that You love her . . . or me.”
These words spewed out of my mouth as I drove home from the nursing home one day. I was mad at God. Why? Why can’t you just take my mom home? Why are you making her suffer? I poured out my heart to Him with all the emotions attached – hurt, anger, despair, doubt.
However, by the time I drove into my garage 15 minutes later, I was confessing my attitude and acknowledging He has a purpose in everything He does. I knew I needed to trust Him even though the painful circumstances were hard to understand. He kept bringing Scripture to mind about His love, His faithfulness, His sovereignty. His Word changed my perspective, even though my circumstances hadn’t changed.
Perhaps you’ve been in that situation or feeling this way today. David felt this way many times, as is evidenced by the number of lament psalms he wrote. He cried out to God, asking questions, expressing his emotions, being real with his feelings. And yet, he finished each lament with words of praise and trust in His God.
Our culture often communicates that expressing lament is a weakness or it’s not spiritual to say those things to God. So, we stuff our emotions and feelings and try to pretend they’re not there. That’s not healthy. Neither is it Scriptural.
This weekend I’m co-facilitating a trauma healing workshop (developed by the American Bible Society) with a group of women. One of the things we cover is the value of lament. When I went through the workshop last year, the lament was one of the most powerful things we did during that weekend.
God wants us to “pour out your heart before Him” (Psalm 62:8). David did – more than once.
Maybe it’s time for you to write a lament psalm of your own. Express your true feelings, your questions, your doubts, your struggles to Him. But, remember what is true about God. Express your trust in Him, even though you don’t understand. Psalm 13 is a good example to follow.
What helps you express your true emotions to God in dark times? What holds you back? I’d love to hear your thoughts on this.