Esther Fleece | January 27, 2017
Lament is not a common word in our churches today, though it is a language woven throughout Scripture. A lament is a passionate expression of our pain that God meets us in. It’s real talk with God about the ways we are hurting. It’s an honest prayer to God about where we are, not where we are pretending to be. A lament may take the form of a plea for help in a time of distress or a protest over injustice.
What a kind God we have, who has warned us that pain in this life will come and has given us a language to relate to Him in the midst of it.
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.
In this 3-day track, Esther guides us into a fuller understanding not only of what lament is, but how it is biblically modeled and leads us to discover God and ourselves in a deeper way.
A lament saves us from staying stuck in grief and rescues us from a faith based on falsehoods. It was a false belief that told me I would always be incapable of being loved. It was a false belief that led me to believe I was the reason for my parents’ divorce. It was a false belief that told me I would never find my way out of despair.
While a lament may not change our circumstances, it will help clear up our misunderstandings about God. When we lament to God, we see Him more clearly on the other side. God does not leave us in lament, any more than He leaves us forever in this messed-up world.
God not only helps us see Him more clearly, but He also equips us with the ability to see ourselves more clearly.
For example, I used to deal horribly with correction. Correction would leave me feeling humiliated, and I would defend myself. Because no one defended me in court, I took on the role of protecting myself at all costs. And over time, this looked ugly. Being defensive and guarded hurts and hinders every relationship. This is just one example of how unlamented emotions cause blocks and barriers we cannot see.
God showed me that my perceived strength was actually birthed from a wound, and while God can use us even as we walk with a limp, He does not desire that we stay wounded forever. I could still be strong; it just no longer needed to come from an unhealthy root system. Pretending we are strong or being strong out of woundedness actually accomplishes very little for us in the end—and very little for God. It prevents us from being known, fears and all, and being radically accepted.
There is no “fake it till you make it” in Scripture.