Posted on Thursday, November 7, 2013 in Uncategorized
We’re all looking for happiness, and despite our doubts Happiness IS possible … for all of us.
Sometimes, the pursuit of happiness involves a change of mind, a new perspective, a reversal of direction. Sometimes it’s a mind-altering mystery like, “Great pain can become great possibilities.”
Pray Your Pain Out
There are many reasons I have chosen to follow Jesus Christ, but one of the nearest and dearest reasons is that despite my sins, shortcomings, and slanderous rants God has not blown me up with a bolt of lightning. Not that God ever threatened to do so, but you know sometimes I just think I deserved it.
Jeremiah, was someone like me, expressive, honest, blunt, in touch with his feelings and greatly hurt by the pain in his world. He was a spokesperson (a prophet) for God in Jerusalem during a time of economic collapse and political upheaval. “Invasion. Disaster. Exile. Hunger. Death. Jeremiah saw it all.” To cope with his pain and the horror he wrote a poem we call Lamentations. 1
(God) has led me into darkness, shutting out all light.
He has turned his hand against me again and again, all day long.
He has made my skin and flesh grow old. He has broken my bones.
He has besieged and surrounded me with anguish and distress.
He has buried me in a dark place, like those long dead.
He has walled me in, and I cannot escape. He has bound me in heavy chains.
And though I cry and shout, he has shut out my prayers. 2
Jeremiah ranted. He yelled. He cried. He might even have slandered God. And, God took it all.
Five chapters filled with furious anger, hurt and sadness. There’s barely any hope at all, mostly it’s “This sucks and we caused it and you let it happen.”
Someone might ask, “Why would God place Lamentations in the Bible?” I know why. It’s for me. It’s for you. It’s so when we want happiness but all we feel is anger, hurt and sadness we can look to Jeremiah’s Lamentation and know it’s okay to dump it all on God.
“Pray your pain out. Pound the table. March up and down the lawn. It’s time for tenacious, honest prayers. Angry at God? Disappointed with his strategy? Ticked off at his choices? Let him know it. Let him have it! Jeremiah did.” 3
Go ahead. Try it. File your grievance. Bring it to God. You can even pray the Bible back to God: “I bring him all my complaints; I tell him all my troubles.” 4
Go ahead. Even Jesus “prayed with loud cries and tears to the One who could save him from death, and his prayer was heard because he trusted God.” 5
“Words might seem hollow and empty at first. You will mumble your sentences, fumble your thoughts. But don’t quit. And don’t hide.”
Pray Your Pain Out Suggestions:
– Ask God for wisdom to see situations clearly.
– Ask God for forgiveness if you screwed up.
– Ask God for strength and discipline to endure the pain
– Ask God for strength and discipline to be patient.
– Ask others to help you stay on the right path.
1 – From Max Lucado’s You’ll Get Through This
2 – Lamentations 3:2-8, NLT
3 – From Max Lucado’s You’ll Get Through This
4 – Psalm 142:2, GNT
5 – Hebrews 5:7, NCV