Let’s get real for a moment, shall we? Sometimes I get frustrated with Christians pretending that all is well in the world and in life. Broken people walk into church every Sunday with fake smiles on their faces because they can’t bear that thought of telling the truth that they are not okay. They feel guilt and eternally beat themselves for not rejoicing or being thankful. On the other hand, they can’t bear the thought of what others would say about them or how they would be judged. They can’t bear the thought of falling down at the altar and crying out to God for help. So they tighten their lips. Refuse to pray. They lie and make a choice to remain stuck simply because they don’t want to be honest about the true condition of their heart.
The reality is we are not happy all of the time. Sometimes life sucks and that truth does not automatically translate to sin in our lives. To lie about this reality is sin. God wants us to be open and come to him. I think about the end of Jesus’ life as he shared intimate moments with his disciples. He said, “I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friend, for everything I have learned from the Father I have made known to you (John 15:15).” Jesus is a true friend indeed and we can be honest with our true friends knowing that they will continue to love us no matter what.
Jesus has made known to us our father’s business and this increases our faith and gives us hope. But it is true; Jesus suffered throughout his life and was viciously murdered. Thank God that is not the end of the story! Take a look at this summary:
During the days of Jesus’ life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with loud cries and tears to the one who could save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission. Although he was a son, he learned obedience from what he suffered and once made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation from all who obey him (Heb. 5:7-9 NIV)
Jesus suffered in life. That suffering produced obedience. That suffering also caused him to cry out to his heavenly Father with prayers, petitions, loud cries, and tears!
Jesus lamented before his Father. Lament is the word the Bible uses to describe mourning, wailing, strong regret, weeping or crying out to God. The Bible is full of laments and even the Father himself lamented that he created humankind because he saw that our sin was so great (Gen. 6:5-6) We have fallen greatly!
Jesus taught his disciples the truth of living in a fallen world. The truth is: Even when we love Jesus, we can scatter and leave him all alone (John 16:32) or deny him to save our own skin (Matt. 26:69-75). Sometimes our imperfect love causes us to wander and leads us into the wilderness. God is not surprised by our shortcomings. Jesus says to us, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world (John 16:33).”
So go ahead, lament. There is trouble in the world. Cry out to God. Take heart that Christ has overcome the world and he will give you peace.
My daughter sung the following song to me this week and almost brought me to tears:
Come to Jesus, Sing to Jesus, Fall on Jesus, Cry to Jesus, Dance for Jesus, Fly to Jesus and LIVE!!!
© Natasha Sistrunk Robinson 2012