Though it may make us uncomfortable, this text reminds us that there is a place for lament in our worship, both private and corporate; it give us permission to grieve and to bring our sorrows to God. It gives a voice to our sadness and points us to the One who meets us in our sufferings and gives us hope.
We wait in hope for the Lord; he is our help and our shield. (Psalm 33:20)
We wait because we know in God’s Kingdom, pain and sorrow do not have the last word. The last word belongs to God and it is always a word of great hope. Even though the dark night of the soul sometimes lasts a long time, though we may feel isolated, even abandoned, we hold to what we know to be true, that we are never alone, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. (Deuteronomy 31:6)
Our tears are precious to the Father and we worship HIm through those tears, as well as in times of happiness. When we do express our sorrow, we make room for renewed hope and joy, for we have this promise from God's Word, that those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. (Isaiah 40:31)
We remind ourselves that Jesus Christ, the Suffering Servant has defeated death and the grave; that in Him we are eternally secure, and we look forward to that day when God will wipe away our tears and there will be no more mourning or crying or pain. (Revelation 21:4). BUT...we are not there yet; in this world we still weep.
Psalm 88 reminds us of these truths and gives us permission to bring our tears to God, it reminds us there is a place in the community of faith to share our burdens and our sorrows, and above al, it reminds usl that there is One we can trust to deliver us. Therefore, we confess with the Psalmist, Lord, you are the God who saves me. (Psalm 88:1)
I think again of the beautiful words of Carleen Mandolfo, who makes this observation about God and human suffering: Perhaps God is sitting with His people.
Friends, in this season of our lives, we need to learn to sit with each other. I want to encourage you to make this a time of prayer for; use our Prayer Corner to be praying throughout the week. Take a moment today to call someone, to check in on them, especially those who are alone and those who are dealing with signifcant health or family concerns; send an message of encouragement, a card or note to let them know you are thinking about them and praying for them; provide practical assitance if you are able to do so and continue to make Valley a safe place for us to share together the ups and downs of life.
Thank you for being a caring and compassionate church! May God continue to give us eyes to see and ears to listen, that we might be His agents of blessing in a hurting world.