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A Cry For Help

“Come quickly, Lord, and answer me, for my depression deepens. Don’t turn away from me, or I will die. Let me hear of your unfailing love each morning, for I am trusting you. Show me where to walk, for I give myself to you”

Psalm 143:7&8

NLT


There is this pervasive myth in churches and among followers of Jesus that we are supposed accept everything that happens to us in our lives with full faith and rejoicing. If we cannot find a spiritual purpose behind something bad that happens, or if we show even a moment of struggle with the circumstances in our lives, then we don’t really know who God is, we are sinning, and we don’t have enough faith. Can we all just be honest for a moment? This charade is exhausting, and it is demeaning to the real life that we are experiencing everyday. And frankly, it is not biblical. The Bible is full of examples of people asking why, crying out to the Lord in pain, and expressing their doubts to Him and other believers. Over a third of the book of Psalms are prayers of lament. Lament is just a fancy word for crying out to God for help when we are hurt and confused. Over and over we read the Psalmists cries of “How long O Lord? Hear my prayer. Why have you turned away from me?” Psalm 143:7&8 says:


“Come quickly, Lord, and answer me, for my depression deepens. Don’t turn away from me, or I will die. Let me hear of your unfailing love each morning, for I am trusting you. Show me where to walk, for I give myself to you”


Here the writer is crying out to God, admitting that they don’t feel heard by Him, they don’t feel near to Him, they are depressed, they feel like they will die without relief. They need to be reminded of His unfailing love every single morning, which means the situation they are currently in is making them forget! Does this sound at all familiar to you? It does to me. There have been times in my life where I have laid on my floor sobbing, or sat in my car screaming at Him, because I could not rationalize or understand what was happening in my life, or the life of someone I loved. Please, let us just be honest with God and one another. There are circumstances in our lives that are confusing and painful. Chronic pain and cancer do not make sense. The death of a child does not make sense. Child sex trafficking, racism, extreem poverty, pandemics that shut the entire world down, and natural disasters cannot be rationalized. So we lament. I love the way Francis Chan puts it in an article on lamenting when he states:


“Lament corrects a false, naïve and overly rationalistic view of faith. Lament is not a failure of faith, but an act of faith. We cry out directly to God because deep down we know that our relationship with God counts; it counts to us and it counts to God... Lament teaches us that there are indeed things we do not understand; in fact, we cannot understand.”


The latter half of Psalm 143 shows the writer confessing their trust in the Lord. They tell Him that they need Him to show them every step, and that they have given themselves completely to Him. This is faith, humility, and surrender. This says “I don’t understand, and I am too weak and weary to walk ahead alone.” So cry out when you are hurting and confused. Express your grief, your anger, and your confusion. Don’t hold it in out of a false idea that faith means it's all okay all of the time, because it's not. God knows, and His unfailing love for you is greater than your doubt.

My Prayer For You

Come quickly and answer us O Lord. We are lost without you. Comfort us in our grief, our anger, and our confusion. Help us to learn how to cry out to you and seek you in our pain. We trust in you. Remind us every morning of your love and faithfulness to us. Show us our every step as we learn to surrender completely to you. Amen.

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