By: Pastor Jarren Rogers
“Biblical lament expresses sorrow over losing a world that was once good alongside a belief that it can be made good again. Lament isn’t giving up, it’s giving over.” – Josh Larsen
When I was a kid, I used to lie to my parents… a lot. I would lie about the dumbest things. Sometimes I would lie about things that I didn’t even need to lie about. However, my mom had a surefire way to tell if I was lying with about a 99% success rate.
It would go like this: My mom comes to me and she would ask, “Did you hit your sister? And I would lie and say, “Of course not mom. Why would I ever do such a thing? I extend nothing but grace and love to my little sister.”
Then my mom would look at me closely, staring up at my forehead and then she would say, “Hmm I see your mommy dot. That’s how I know your lying. It’s right there.” She poked the center of my forehead.
I would run to the bathroom and pull up my hair, peering into the mirror. There was no dot. I would go back and tell my mom this and she would say “Exactly! That’s why it’s called a mommy dot. Only moms can see it.”
But after a few rounds of this, I got smart. I knew that I could lie to my mom as long as she couldn’t see my mommy dot. So, any time I told her a lie I’d place my hand on my forehead. Somehow that made her more proficient in spotting my lies.
To this day, I haven’t been able to see my mommy dot. I’m dreading the day that my wife and I have our first kid because then she’ll be able to see both my and our kids’ mommy dot.
As I thought about this, I thought about the fact that sometimes, when we pray, we lie to God. We don’t always intend to. But a lot of times we’re guilty of failing to tell Him how we really feel.
A lament is a passionate prayer to God that spawns out of profound grief and sorrow. It is crying out to God in brutal honesty about how you feel. There is actually an entire book of the Bible that is called Lamentations that is just one long lament. When you read through it you will see how honest that the writer was with God in the midst of his tragedy.
But, lamenting isn’t only found in the book of Lamentations. Think about Jesus. On the cross, He shouted His lament to God. He was betrayed, beaten, whipped, and nailed to a tree. His bones were broken, He was stabbed in the side. God the Father had abandoned Jesus to die. And Christ told God how He felt. He felt forsaken and so He cried it out to the Father at the top of His lungs. “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”
If you are going through a difficult time right now, I encourage you to go and grab a notebook. Write out a prayer, an honest lament about how you feel. If you feel abandoned by God, then tell Him. If you feel like God is beating the snot out of you, then tell Him. If you feel like He has let you down, then tell Him. God wants you to be honest with Him. He wants to know your thoughts, your feeling, your fears, and your desires. So, tell Him!
It’s time to stop praying lies to God, prayers where we paint over our circumstances and we pretend that we aren’t hurt or angry in the presence of God. It’s time to be comfortable with crying out to God in our pain. It’s time to begin lamenting to God.
The good news is that the story never ends in lament. God will never leave you in the midst of your hurt and doubt. God is with you in your suffering and He will carry you out.
Be honest with God today about how you really feel. Your anger, your doubt, your hardship, your suffering, give it over to a God who’s been there.