Devotion - A Cry of Grief as a Matter of Faith

While Pastor Laurie is away, our devotions are from members of the West Side family. It's a gift to hear and join in how others in our fellowship are walking with Jesus during this time.

Today's devotion is from Stacy Kutz. Stacy is on staff at WSPC, working with our Kids & Families, Youth, and Young Adults.

(Psalm 13)

My last few devotionals focused on hope. Hope in Jesus through the power of the Holy Spirit is the only way we Christians can make it in a broken world. This week, with the events happening across the US and around the world, I am led to cry out to our Lord in a prayer of lament.

We live in a broken world. This truth is not new. Humans made it three whole chapters into the Bible before the fall, before breaking a promise to God. The realities of living in a broken world never really escape us. I don’t know about you, but I wish they would. I am an idealist and an optimist, so reflecting on the brokenness of this world doesn’t come easy for me and makes me extremely uncomfortable. The practice of lament is fairly new to me. It was introduced to me in a Fuller Seminary class several years ago. It is how we pray with broken, hurting, confused and angry hearts, knowing that only the Lord can give honest understanding, deep forgiveness, hope and healing. As I work with youth, I have also found it to be an especially effective tool to help students process their losses while remaining connected to God.

Lament is not complaining, it is not giving into pain, or denying that God works all things for His good. Lament is pouring out our personal and collective loss to God. Lament is a recognition that we live in a broken world that desperately needs God.

Today, I lament. I lament for the hungry and struggling here in our city and around the world. I lament for the teen moms who are struggling to make ends meet. I lament for the lives of George Floyd, Ahmed Aubrey, and Breonna Taylor, and too many others. I lament for the pain and anger that has been unleashed due to these deaths. I lament the reality of racism, which has resulted in inequality and injustice in far too many communities. I lament for the city of Seattle, a place I have called home for my whole life. I lament for the poverty and loss caused around the world by the Coronavirus. I lament for the necessary restrictions that have resulted in isolation and loneliness. I lament for the graduates who missed out on so many “lasts.”

I know my laments are not in vain. I cry out to God in pain, and I am filled with a supernatural hope and comfort. Lament is not the end. Just as it is not complaining or denying that God is here. Rather, by lamenting I am clinging to God and I am drawing closer to God.

David is one of my favorite people in the Bible because of his emotions. David gets angry, he gets sad, he laments, he fails, he doubts, and he fully loves and depends on God. David is called a man after God’s own heart. For that, I am very thankful because when I have all the emotions like David, I too can be after God’s own heart. In Psalm 13, David is asking God how long he will be forgotten. He is lamenting his situation and asking God, “Where are you? Look on me and answer.” David ends with a prayer and reminder for all of us:

“But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation. I will sing the Lord’s praise, for he has been good to me.” Psalm 13: 5-6

PRAYER:

Dear Lord,

We cry out to you. We pour out our pains, our struggles, and our fears. We grieve for this world, God. We long to see the work of your hands. We cling to you. We hold on to the hope that you give us. As we pour out to you, we ask that you pour into us, Lord. Fill us with your Spirit, peace, and comfort, so that we may love those in our lives as you love us. We pray this in the powerful name of Jesus.

Amen.

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