What do you do when you find yourself in that place where your faith is weak and real hope of any kind seems impossible to come by. Where you wonder if God has left you, because it sure feels like it. Where you cannot help but ask questions like…
Where is God?
Does He even care about my pain?
Why does He seem so silent?
It is enough to drive a person crazy.
The first thing you need to know is that in wrestling with questions like these, you are normal. These are some of the deepest, most heart wrenching questions any of us can wrestle with. I know I have. I also know what it feels like to have the biblical and theological answers "right" and yet what you observe in the world and in your heart doesn't align with the truth you know and profess.
So, what do we do in these times?
Thankfully, God has given us a language, an outlet, for times like these. The Bible calls it, lament. Lament is found throughout all of Scripture. Lamentations is an entire book of lament. The Psalms are filled with lament where we read the cries of David and others who feel deeply the pain of life and loss, the hurt and confusion that can come when it seems God is nowhere to be found.
You see, prayers, cries, and songs of lament provide a language for us to pour our hearts out to God honestly. The despair, the frustration, the fear. All of it. Lament gives us the proper pathway to express and deal with our pain.
At the feet of God, in His presence.
Satan seeks to steer us away from God in the midst of our pain, leading to more pain. Lament allows us to be real and raw and painfully honest with God as we lean even harder into Him.
The best place to begin learning the language of lament is to simply read and pray through some of the Psalms of lament in Scripture. They will help give you words as you cry out to God in the midst of the hurt and pain you are possibly feeling even now.
Know this. In the midst of your struggle, you are not alone. You are simply normal. In a fallen, broken, sin-filled world where things are not the way they are supposed to be, you are normal.
And the good news is that God can handle it. He can handle our frustrations, our doubts and questions, our heart break over what appears to be His lack of care and presence in the world and in our lives.
He cannot only handle it, He wants us to run to Him with all this stuff. Again, that is the key: Run TO Him. In the face of hard questions, fears, doubts, and confusion, many run away from God, which only leads to more despair, anxiety, worry and questions. As tempted as you may be to run away from God and toward some other source of “comfort” you believe will bring hope and healing, trust in the Lord instead.
Sit with God in your brokenness.
Sit with God in your fear.
Sit with God in your questions.
Sit with God in your doubt.
Sit with God in your rawness.
And as you sit, trust in Jesus who says to you,
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30)
The Lord wants you to bring it all to Him. Your pain. Your hurt. Your questions. Your anger. This is not a simple Sunday School answer, it is the truth. In our darkest moments, when we are weary and burdened, we must lean into the trustworthy promises that God has imprinted on our hearts and minds through His Word, by His Spirit.
Rest is found there.
The Lord loves you. He really loves you. He may not give you all the answers to your questions right now, or even on this side of heaven, but what I know is that you can trust His heart.
You can trust in the objective ways He has shown and continues to show you His love, grace, and presence every day. Even when nothing in life makes sense.
Ultimately, He has objectively shown His zealous love for you in the death and resurrection of Christ on your behalf. You are His. You are His child. He will never abandon you regardless of what your emotions, Satan and the world might be telling you.
There really is light at the end of the tunnel.
The Lord is with you.
He is not silent.