DAILY THOUGHT: LAMENT
It is not easy for us to grasp the anguish of Jesus’ followers and family the day after his crucifixion. Holy Saturday must have been for them a day of painful lament.
Lament is the prayer-language of those who bring their suffering to God.
Lament cries out to God, asks God difficult questions and protests against the unjust suffering around us. However, lament is never an end in itself. Because our faith is in the living God, we lament always in the knowledge that God hears our cries and will act with goodness and mercy.
We know this because we have read the Psalms, learned the history of the people of God and listened to the God-forsaken cry of the Crucified One who now lives beyond crucifixion.
Pray the daily prayer request.
Learn today for yourself the prayer-language of lament.
Read today two Psalms of lament: Psalms 38 and 88.
Notice the raw language, the integrity of the Psalmist and how praise and lament often come together in the same Psalm. Find one or two lines from either of these Psalms, sentences that put into words how you sometimes feel in moments of anguish and grief, and speak these lines to God.
You may want to follow this up by sharing with God the particular pain you are carrying in your heart right now.
Psalm 38 NIV
A psalm of David. A petition.
1 Lord, do not rebuke me in your anger or discipline me in your wrath. 2 Your arrows have pierced me,
and your hand has come down on me. 3 Because of your wrath there is no health in my body;
there is no soundness in my bones because of my sin. 4 My guilt has overwhelmed me
like a burden too heavy to bear.
5 My wounds fester and are loathsome because of my sinful folly. 6 I am bowed down and brought very low;
all day long I go about mourning. 7 My back is filled with searing pain; there is no health in my body. 8 I am feeble and utterly crushed; I groan in anguish of heart.
9 All my longings lie open before you, Lord; my sighing is not hidden from you. 10 My heart pounds, my strength fails me; even the light has gone from my eyes. 11 My friends and companions avoid me because of my wounds;
my neighbors stay far away. 12T hose who want to kill me set their traps, those who would harm me talk of my ruin;
all day long they scheme and lie.
13 I am like the deaf, who cannot hear, like the mute, who cannot speak; 14 I have become like one who does not hear, whose mouth can offer no reply. 15 Lord, I wait for you; you will answer, Lord my God. 16 For I said, “Do not let them gloat or exalt themselves over me when my feet slip.”
17 For I am about to fall, and my pain is ever with me. 18 I confess my iniquity; I am troubled by my sin. 19 Many have become my enemies without cause 19 my vigorous enemies; those who hate me without reason are numerous. 20 Those who repay my good with evil lodge accusations against me, though I seek only to do what is good.
21 Lord, do not forsake me; do not be far from me, my God. 22 Come quickly to help me, my Lord and my Savior.
Psalm 88 NIV
A song. A psalm of the Sons of Korah. For the director of music.
1 Lord, you are the God who saves me; day and night I cry out to you. 2 May my prayer come before you; turn your ear to my cry.
3 I am overwhelmed with troubles and my life draws near to death. 4 I am counted among those who go down to the pit; I am like one without strength. 5 I am set apart with the dead, like the slain who lie in the grave, whom you remember no more, who are cut off from your care.
6 You have put me in the lowest pit, in the darkest depths. 7 Your wrath lies heavily on me; you have overwhelmed me with all your waves. 8 You have taken from me my closest friends and have made me repulsive to them. I am confined and cannot escape; 9 my eyes are dim with grief. I call to you, Lord, every day; I spread out my hands to you.
10 Do you show your wonders to the dead? Do their spirits rise up and praise you? 11 Is your love declared in the grave, your faithfulness in Destruction? 12 Are your wonders known in the place of darkness, or your righteous deeds in the land of oblivion?
13 But I cry to you for help, Lord; in the morning my prayer comes before you. 14 Why, Lord, do you reject me
and hide your face from me? 15 From my youth I have suffered and been close to death; I have borne your terrors and am in despair.
16 Your wrath has swept over me; your terrors have destroyed me. 17 All day long they surround me like a flood;
they have completely engulfed me. 18 You have taken from me friend and neighbor—darkness is my closest friend.
Holy Saturday Easter devotional provided by Mosaiek.