This summer hasn’t gone quite as anyone expected.
We started with high hopes that the end of the pandemic was in sight and that life might return more or less to normal, at least here in the United States where effective vaccines are readily available. Yet the resurgence of COVID-19 due to the delta variant, hesitancy among some to avail themselves of life-saving remedies, and inequitable distribution in many parts of the world have plunged us back into a period of uncertainty and caution.
The Bible is filled with stories of places and times where the people of God were surprised by events and cried out. The Psalmist calls these “lament.”
I was reading a recent blog post by Carey Nieuwhof, “How to Lead When You’re Facing Constant Loss and Continual Bad News.” It was a helpful reminder that we dare not “Easter over” the difficulties of these days but take the time and have the courage to name the pain and disappointment we feel when things don’t go as we were hoping, or when others don’t do what we wanted or needed them to do.
The Psalms are our teacher in this regard. “For you are the God in whom I take refuge; why have you cast me off? Why must I walk about mournfully …” (Psalm 43: 2.) The Psalmist invites us to have the courage to lament, to stay with the hurts and heartaches that overwhelm, to name the failures and the weariness which we thought would be finished by now.
I invite you these days to name your own laments. Take courage, for God has promised to hear your laments. Perhaps our call in these early days is to help each other lament well.
As we head into an uncertain fall, I give thanks that God has promised to be with us in the midst of our laments. I pray that each of us will help one another in lamenting all that is before us, so that we can be witnesses to the healing, forgiveness, and mercy of God.
Robin J. Steinke, President