Much like toilet paper, hope these days is in short supply.
Within weeks, despite much or perhaps lack of effort, the coronavirus has enveloped the globe: crippling healthcare systems, devastating economies and even bringing death. We are confronted once more with the fragility of our lives.
The abrupt end to final year and the sudden loss of internships and job offers certainly make matters much worse. Lamenting and even despairing seems to be the new norm in our interactions with family and friends. This situation has once again reminded me of the brokenness of this world.
However, there’s a fine line between lamenting and despairing. Laments turn us toward God but despair tempts us to run from Him. Jesus Himself lamented right before His death, more than a third of the psalms are laments and there is even a book titled ‘lamentations’ in the bible. But how does one actually lament?
Most laments have these four essential elements: seeking God, complaining to God, asking God for help and trusting God. Lamenting helps us to express our pain and sorrow but still keeps us grounded in God’s sovereignty; acknowledging the fact that although we live in a broken world, we still have an everlasting hope that we can cling onto. Psalm 146 is a good reminder of why we can put our trust in this eternal hope.
5 Blessed are those whose help is the God of Jacob,
whose hope is in the Lord their God.
6 He is the Maker of heaven and earth,
the sea, and everything in them —
he remains faithful forever.
God remains faithful at all times, He is our light in the darkness, offering us tangible help and everlasting hope. Although we lament our trials in life, let us not despair because we know that our sufferings are only temporary (Revelation 21:4). In the midst of these troubled times, let us not forget to bring this pillar of everlasting hope to our loved ones. (1 Peter 3:15).
To cry is human, but to lament is Christian. (Mark Vroegop)