A Lament Is More than Sadness

by A.C. Williams

Father, if you are willing, please take this cup of suffering away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine. Luke 22:42 NLT

For Lani Forbes and Jane “Nightbirde” Marczewski

Do you ever lament how broken the world is? Ugh. Lament is such a medieval-sounding word. Bleak and gray and dreary like a novel by a Bronte sister. But what is a lament?

It’s a song of grief, isn’t it? It seems an appropriate response when the world is such a dark, broken, sorrowful place. Grief is our native tongue. Loss is our common bond. And it’s not even the hate and the violence that hurts the most sometimes. It’s the heartbreaking loss of loved ones taken too soon. Violence has a solution in some ways. Hate has a cure in some ways. Death by disease? All we can do with that is mourn.

There are no fingers to point. There is no blame to cast. Just a big gaping wound that pulses with pain every time something brushes up against it. 

In the month of February alone, I’ve seen cancer steal two godly women. They fought the good fight. They won their race. Both of them. Even their final days here were full of gratitude and praise. They used the gifts God had given them right up to the end and left a legacy (and a challenge) for all of us who remain.

But today isn’t a day for challenges. Today is a day for sadness. For letting ourselves feel the grief that comes when one of God’s children goes home (Ecclesiastes 3:4). 

Brokenness is worthy of lament. Have we even taken time to think what brokenness means? It means the world doesn’t work.

Our world can’t be fixed. No political leader, no religious movement, no earthly power can put our world back together again (Jeremiah 17:5). 

A lament is certainly worthy of grief, but it isn’t just about sadness. It’s not just about mourning. A lament is a heartfelt cry to God that both acknowledges the pain of loss and reaches toward Him in hope.

Lament leads to hope.

Do you ever think of Jesus’ words in Gethsemane? He was hurting. Sorrowful. Brokenhearted and so, so scared. You know He was. He had to be dreading what He knew was coming. He was God in skin, but He still had skin. 

Yet, He declared, “Not My will, but Yours” (Luke 22:42 NASB).

Loss and grief will come at us every moment of our lives, and the last thing we will want to do is face them.

Not my will, but Yours.

People will hurt us, let us down, betray us. We’ll feel lonely, abandoned, taken advantage of, and all we’ll want to do is give up.

Not my will, but Yours.

It wasn’t God’s will for our world to be torn apart, but that’s what happened. Now, in this world, old age and sickness and cancer will steal our loved ones. Hearts will break, families will collapse, friends will betray each other.

But Jesus overcame the world (John 16:33). He overcame death itself. And because He’s alive today, I know that my sisters (and brothers) are alive with Him. And that even in my sorrow and my grief, I can live with confident hope. I can cry and mourn and see the brokenness of the world around me, but I can pick myself up again and keep moving forward, too. Because my God does miracles with broken things. One day, soon I pray, nobody who knows Him will be broken anymore.

This article is brought to you by the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association (AWSA).

About the author: A.C. Williams is a coffee-drinking, sushi-eating, story-telling nerd who loves cats, country living, and all things Japanese. She’d rather be barefoot, and if isn’t, her socks will never match. She likes her road trips with rock music, her superheroes with snark, and her blankets extra fuzzy, but her first love is stories and the authors who are passionate about telling them. Learn more about her book coaching services and follow her adventures on social media @free2bfearless.

Amy has a special offer for her Always Peachy Devotionals: Free for 7 days and then $5 a month. https://acwilliams.substack.com/arisedaily

Join the conversation:  Which of these guidelines from Colossians seems most important to you?

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One thought on “A Lament Is More than Sadness

  1. Beautiful, A.C. The first time I visited the Kotel (Wailing Wall) in Israel, I understood the definition of lament. Remembering the sobs mixed with worship and prayers of female voices still give me goosebumps.

    Like

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