“Everybody has a story of sorrow to tell.” This is what a Brazilian friend and colleague used to say. We all have. We live in a broken world, and we are broken too. The prophet Isaiah puts it in a beautiful way: “Woe to me!” I cried. “I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the LORD Almighty.” Isaiah 6:5.”
The Psalms of Lament describe real situations that real people were going through in their lives. They are not fiction or poems created to portray human suffering and pain. No, the psalmists were going through a very tough time, and decided to share their ordeal with others. We are blessed for having these psalms in our hands. Let me share with you why.
First of all because they show us that everybody is subjected to this kind of situation. Sometimes we think that things happen only to us. We are the only ones going through hardships, or through that specific kind of hardship. The psalmists experienced a little bit of everything. They faced enemies inside and out. They struggled in their relationship with God. Friends and family mistreated them. They had to deal with their own sins and wrong doings.
The second reason for us to be blessed with these psalms is that they teach us how to be real with God in the middle of our suffering. The psalmists teach us how to pray, and to say things to God that sometimes we think would be wrong to say. We learn from them to be truthful in our prayers and clamors. If it hurts, say it. And say it as it is. We think that if we do not say, God will not know what we are feeling. How dumb is that? The Bible says that God knows what we are thinking and feeling before we can express them in words. So, if you are going through a tough time, just say it.
The last reason why we are blessed with these psalms is that they are supposed to give us hope and lift us up. In all these psalms we have the psalmists coming before the Lord with a word of trust and faith. They are desperate, they complain, but they always come to the conclusion that God is a powerful God, He is a good and merciful God, and He knows what is going on in our lives.
So, my challenge for you is to not only read those psalms, but also pray them. If you look carefully, you will find a psalm that describes your situation and your feelings. Make them your words; immerse yourself in their verses. Open your heart to God and ask Him to intervene in your situation. Do not fear, God is with you and He is listening.
Have a blessed week,