When I grow up, I want to remember that I always wanted to be about a thousand different things & one lifetime didn't seem nearly enough. When I grow up, I hope it's at the very end when it doesn't matter anymore anyway.
I have been unable to study the Bible with much enthusiasm for quite some time. I try. I pray. I go through the motions but there is a heaviness in my heart that makes it difficult for me to draw close to the Lord. I can't draw close to Someone with whom I'm angry. I can't reconcile with Someone when I don't have words to express myself. When the questions become too large and the answers don't match up with what I've been taught, my mind - the rational mind He gave me - doesn't know where to go. We are not really taught in the church how to express anger. Not a lot of time is spent on how to express doubt, how to grieve, how to honestly pour out our emotions. Sermons focus on praise, on disciplining our mind, on bowing to the authority of God. I think these lessons are important - I'm not arguing that - but I also think it is important to learn how to be honest before the Lord. I'm human. He knows my frailties, my imperfections, my questions. Why don't I know how to express them to Him? Why don't I know how to incorporate sorrow and a heavy heart into my times of worship? Why does it often seem that the two can not abide in the same place?
Soon, I will be studying a Michael Card book, "A Sacred Sorrow: Reaching Out to God in the Lost Language of Lament." I am praying God will use this to give me words to talk to Him in an honest way. I was reading an article published by NACSW about using the Psalms to express grief and sadness. There were way too many things to include in this blog, but I'm going to summarize some of the thoughts because I want to come back and read them from time to time.
These are three things I have found to be true in my own life:
1. It is difficult to give language to pain; pain is language-shattering.
2. (Certain experiences) drive speech to silence. It is easier to suppress or gag than it is to bring to light and give voice.
3. Pain is missed in praise.
The value of the Psalms of Lament?
1. They challenge our inability to acknowledge the intense emotions deep pain and grief entail.
2. They free us to make a bold expression of our hurt before the Lord.
3. They allow us to rely on God to carry forth hope on our behalf when we ourselves have no hope in us.
The psalmist expresses anguish, pain, sorrow. At times he even appears melodramatic - yet at the end - he is able to voice optimism and acknowledge goodness. This is what I hold on to - the fact that I, too, will arrive at this point of expressing praise.
But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation. I will sing the LORD’s praise, for he has been good to me.
After days and weeks and months (well, really only days) of writing exams, grading exams, helping students find missing assignments, checking binders, entering grades, closing out report cards and filing the old away to make room for the new......