Where is He?
Why is He so far away?
Where is He; when airplanes go missing? War breaks out in Crimea? When I'm restless?
Is he really a God of hesed, a God of loving-kindness?
These are some of the secret questions I have.
Why don't we ask these questions anymore?
The Bible records that the spiritual people lamented. They accused God. Questioned His righteousness. The Psalmist wrote;
'Will the Lord reject forever? Will he never show his favour again?' (Psalm 77:7),
'How long, Lord, will you just look on?' (Psalm 35:17),
'How long, O God, will the adversary hurl insults?' (Psalm 74:10).
And Jesus lamented;
'Why have you forsaken me?' (Matthew 27:46).
Lamenting No More
Why don't we publically lament anymore? Do we think we know all the answers to all the questions? Is it because we're scared to accuse God of something? Afraid we'd lose our faith? Or has the world convinced us that life is fair?
I don't really know why lamenting has been lost. I'm just growing to like it a lot. Lament is honest. And satisfying.
And I'm also discovering some really mysterious thing about lamenting in the Bible... it leads to hope. After Job spent so much time lamenting about his horrid suffering, he is still able to fall to the ground and have hope in an omnipotent, gracious Saviour;
'I know that you can do all things... Therefore I despise myself, and repent in dust and ashes' (Job 42:1, 6).
I don't really know why spiritual lament leads to hope. I wonder if it's because lament is letting go of pretence and really communing with God. Or maybe it's as Christian mystic Thomas Merton puts it, 'one cannot truly know hope unless he has found out how like despair hope is?'
Danielle Carney lives on the Gold Coast. She has a degree in Theology and is now studying again. She is married and has a three year old daughter and two sons who live in heaven.
Danielle's archive of articles can be viewed at www.pressserviceinternational.org/danielle-carney.html