Let’s pray ……
How many times have you heard recently, “Isn’t the news awful?”
Innocent Muslim worshippers attacked in Christchurch, murders and knife attacks (it seems) almost every day; young people crushed to death on a fun night out, people hurting and longing for justice, and the unending saga of Brexit and all the bitterness that goes with it fill our newspapers and TV screens …… and so it goes on.
The author of the Book of Lamentations is not named in the Bible, but scholarly opinion points to Jeremiah as the writer. Chuck Swindoll says, “Lamentations pictures a man of God (Jeremiah) puzzling over the results of evil and suffering in the world.”
So affected is he by the destruction of and suffering in Jerusalem that he calls on the people to admit their hurt and confusion and to: –
“Arise, cry out in the night, as the watches of the night begin; pour out your heart like water in the presence of the Lord.” [2:19]
This Lent season, the words of Nell Goddard from the London Institute for Contemporary Christianity seem apt, when she says,
“Perhaps this is a time to find peace in stating the reality of your pain, or to discover the beauty of sitting with others as they share the reality of theirs.”
Jeremiah, out of his confusion and hurt, discovered that peace – and hope – for he goes on to say,
“Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness.” [3:22-23]
So, as we “pour out our hearts to God”, for ourselves and others may we, and they, also find that peace, comfort and hope that only our compassionate, never failing Father can give.