Grief can sometimes feel like way too much. Every time I have opened my Facebook feed or gotten a call that another beloved friend has died. I found myself crying out to God “How long, oh Lord, how long? How long will I wake to the news of an untimely death? How long will I watch as friends bury their beloved? How long, oh Lord, how long?
As I rattle the names of those who have died off in the last year, I find myself crying out again and again. It’s all too much. Too much loss. Too much grief. Too much…. Too many children are without one of their parents. Too many are having to say goodbye unexpectedly. Too many are not getting to live the full lives we wished for them. And again I cry out, “How long, oh Lord, how long?
This cry is the cry of so many who are grieving. In the midst of grief, it can be so hard to make sense of what happened. We continually find ourselves asking the questions of why. We want to make sense of our tragedies yet the only sense we can make is that God stands with us in our grief. God cries when we cry. God understands when we get angry at him. In fact, God can take it. And God also understands why we ask “How long, oh Lord, how long?
This cry is the cry of poetry found in Psalm 13.They are words not just for then, but are words for today. They are also a cry of lament. The reality in this world is that we often don’t give ourselves enough time to lament. Lament, according to the Merriam Webster dictionary, means “to mourn aloud” or “to express sorrow, mourning, or regret for often demonstratively”.
Yesterday, I shared about free flowing tears. It seems to me that our tears and our laments are one of the many ways God calls us to grieve. Lamenting allows the tears to flow freely. Lamenting allows us to cry out again and again, “How long, oh Lord, will you forget me forever?”
“How long, Oh Lord? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me? How long must I bear pain in my soul, and have sorrow in my heart all day long? How long shall my enemy be exalted over me?” (Psalm 13:1-2; New Revised Standard Version)
In our grief, it may often feel like God does not hear our cries. But the truth is that God hears every cry that is wailed out before him.