Our lament muscles – lean into them

By Dave Henning / September 17, 2019

” . . . we have to learn to lean into our lament muscles, to speak the weight of this sad time, to declare to God the absence of his shalom and remind him of the promises of his wholeness and newness.  To lament is to speak the reality of our formless, chaotic suffering and to ask God to fill it with his very good.”- Aubrey Sampson (emphasis author’s)

As Aubrey Sampson continues Chapter 2 of The Louder Song, she notes that part of a deepening relationship with God includes lament.  Yet, three questions still remain:

  1. How exactly do we lament?
  2. What does it look like?
  3. How do we think about and understand lament, theologically and biblically?

Above all, we find our best insight into lament in God’s Word.  Because, after all, lament involves a dialogue between us and God.  And, throughout Scripture, God provides a beautiful picture of what lament looks like.  Hence, Aubrey discusses four expressions of lament she finds especially meaningful.  She covers the first lament today.

1.  The Shalom Lament.  Aubrey believes lament began in the Garden of Eden.  When Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit, sin entered and marred God’s very good world.  In fact, it’s characteristic of all biblical lamenters to respond when they sense God’s absence.  Thus, they lament God’s shalom.

But, this very good aspect of God’s character can cause a negative response on our part.  The author explains:

“Usually a source of great encouragement and hope, this very good aspect of God’s character can cause our faith to feel fragile and tenuous, especially in times of grief and loss.  These suffering seasons can make us question why God is not doing what he’s supposed to do.”

So, we must lean into our lament muscles when facing another (fill in the blank).  During such times, we ask God to fill our suffering season with his very good.

Today’s question:  What Bible verses help you flex your lament muscles?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: An Exodus journey – every lament”

About the author

Dave Henning

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