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Reclaiming the language of lament

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By Dave Henning / March 25, 2017

“Reclaiming the language of lament allows God to infuse His very being into ours and equip us to face the challenges of life with perseverance, trust, and a sense of purpose.”- Esther Fleece

As Esther Fleece concludes Chapter 1 of No More Faking Fine, she asserts we must reclaim the lost language of lament.  In fact, Ms. Fleece sees true spiritual maturity as growing into becoming good lamenters.  As a result, we grow in our need for God.

The author believes, “praise songs” are good and necessary elements of worship.  Yet, we also need songs that express the harsh realities of earthly life.   Without such balance, our perception of God and the life of faith becomes skewed.

Throughout Scripture we see the deep emotions of God.  Scripture describes the grief experienced by each member of the Trinity (see Genesis 6:5-6, Isaiah 63:10, and John 11:35).  Thus, God’s grieving provides a model for expressing our own painful emotions.  Esther explains:

“If we don’t allow painful emotions to surface, then we are setting expectations for ourselves that even God cannot meet.  Nobody laments more than God Himself.  And we are called to be like Him. . . . We are not abandoned in a lament.  We are being refined, renewed, and held.  When we begin to understand God as a God who weeps, we begin to see Him as someone safe to run to in the midst of our pain.”

Hence, honest prayer, unrestrained lament, and trusting dependence reflect honest praise.  They show the beauty of brokenness.  Lament draws us near to God.  But it also draws God near to us.  Esther sees lamenting as a part of life.

In conclusion, Ms. Fleece states that, although lament may not change our circumstances, it clears up our misunderstandings about God.  God can work with the cry of lament.  As Esther observes, lament “keeps the conversation going just when we need Him most.”

Today’s question: What Bible verses help you begin reclaiming the language of lament?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: “Our coping mechanisms”

About the author

    Dave Henning


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