Lament=”to mourn aloud;” “to express sorrow, mourning, or regret for often demonstratively”; “to regret strongly.”
In the midst of our own grief, we often try to express ourselves through our emotions. Yet honestly I do not think we allow each other space to lament. It seems that we try to move way too quickly past our pain because it is so incredibly painful. Yet I think there is a gift in lamenting and allowing ourselves to be pieced back together in a new way.
The book of Lamentations is a book of lament. It is divided into five poems which are (1) a poem of lament, (2) A poem of many warnings, (3) A Poem of hope in God’s love, (4) A poem of Jerusalem, and (5) a prayer for mercy.
In reading a comment from my post yesterday (Thanks Steve), I learned that the book of Lamentations is written in the form of an acrostic poem. According to the SPARK Bible, “In Hebrew, most of Lamentations is written in the form of acrostic poems. In an acrostic, each line begins with a different letter, starting with the first and going through the all 22 letters of the Hebrew alphabet. Chapter 5 is the only chapter not written as an acrostic (SPARK Bible, P. 894).”
It seems to me that in our lament, we are able to turn to hope. We are able to trust in God’s promises for all of God’s beloved children. I cannot help but think of these words from Chapter 3. “The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is thy faithfulness.”–Lamentations 3:22-23 (NRSV)
Great is thy faithfulness indeed! God reminds us again and again that God will never leave us or forsake us. God gives us glimmers of hope in the midst of our mourning and grieving. God is the one who knows our very hearts; our very aches. God is a faithful God who walks with us through all of life’s joys and especially sorrows.
“God’s loyal love couldn’t have run out, his merciful love couldn’t have dried up. They’re created new every morning.How great your faithfulness! I’m sticking with God (I say it over and over). He’s all I’ve got left.”–Lamentations 3:22-23 (The Message Translation)