This may be a difficult passage for you to read today. Certainly, it’s not the
‘happy’ or ‘uplifting’ kind of reading that we usually enjoy. But perhaps
Job’s painful cry to God resonates with your own experience. We all go
through times of great suffering, or we journey with friends and loved ones
who do. In those times it is natural to question God’s presence and care.
But all too often we feel guilty expressing anger at God, and so we hide our
pain behind nice, ‘spiritual’ masks. Job doesn’t do that. He is completely
honest with God, allowing his pain, anger, and despair to show in his
prayers, and he doesn’t rush to quick and easy answers to his questions.
Sometimes we can only know God’s grace and healing when we are willing
to hold our unanswered questions and not try to avoid them. Sometimes we
can only experience God’s presence when we are ready to be honest with
God about our anger and despair, and when we acknowledge our doubts
and the feeling that even God has abandoned or betrayed us. Sometimes
it’s when we rush to find answers and solutions that we miss the healing
and strength that we really need from God. There’s a word for this practice
of “shaking our fists at God”—and it’s a good, right, and biblically
encouraged practice. It’s called ‘Lament’.
What laments do you need to express to God today – for yourself or for
someone else? Can you let go of quick answers, or your fear of not being
‘good,’ and just let your true feelings out, trusting God to be able to take
them and love you through them?
As you may already have guessed, today’s practice is lament. In every
moment when you see injustice, when you feel angry or when you witness
or experience suffering, allow yourself to express your grief in prayer.
O God, why do you delay your healing and justice?