How to Cry Part 1
Embrace It, Don't Avoid It
In a hedonistic culture, we put a premium on pleasure and the avoidance of pain. When there is a loss, we want to rush through it and get back to life.
Jeremiah doesn't rush through his sorrow; he records it. He shares the sights, sounds, and emotions of the moment. He reflects on what brought him to this place and sees the Lord's purpose in it.
"Is it nothing to you, all you who pass by? Look and see if there is any sorrow like my sorrow, which was brought upon me, which the LORD inflicted on the day of his fierce anger."Lamentations 1:12
When it comes to sorrow, don't rush it. Embrace it. Pause. Look around. Listen. Write it down. Answer the question, "Why am I here?"
Work at It, Don't Get Over It
When it comes to Christian disciplines, we tend to think of actions like serving, witnessing, giving, worshipping, praying, and journaling.
What about weeping? Should we not work at weeping as well?
Lamentations is an action-packed book of the Bible. Jeremiah weeps. He grinds his teeth. He remembers. He cries out. He groans.
In Lamentations, the Lord is at work. He crushes. He cuts down. He lays waste. He scorns.
"He has filled me with bitterness; he has sated me with wormwood. He has made my teeth grind on gravel and made me cower in ashes."Lamentations 3:16-17
Instead of getting over it, Jeremiah is getting into it. He is in a painful conversation with God that involves regret and remorse. He's not getting through it as much as he is thinking it through. He works at what the Lord has brought him to. Jeremiah has worked at preaching; now, he will work at weeping.
Your time in the Word is essential, and so is your weeping. Take time in it and work at it.
In tomorrow's post I will share two more takeaways, "Even in what you don't like, there is something to learn" and "the Lord may want you where, but the Lord won't leave you there."
Read Lamentations 1-3
- Write down some of the emotions Jeremiah shares in these passages.
- What do these passages teach you about the Lord?
- What do these passages teach you about some of the actions we should take during times of lament?
If you are not in a time of lament, think back to your last time of great loss. Did you use that time to deepen your relationship with God, take corrective action, or did you rush through it? If you are currently in a time of lament, use Lamentations to guide you through a time of mourning that will help you deepen your relationship with God and make some needed course corrections
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