Grief. Lament. Agony. Anger.
Maybe you’ve had life experiences with similar emotions. Maybe even recently you’ve cried out to the Lord with your deep hurts, walking him through the timeline of your pain. Like a reminder for the all-knowing God. But there’s something about talking through it all line by line, and saying it out loud to him that helps us process. I know it does for me.
In Psalms 74, the first half of the chapter is a lament of the destruction against the temple of Jerusalem and their city being conquered. It’s almost as if rehearsing the litany of grievances will rile up the Lord to action – revenge even. Revenge that we like to call “justice”. And when we are wronged, isn’t that what we want? Recognition and validation from God that this just isn’t okay, and he will do something about it.
Whether I am crying out to him from a place in my heart with pure intentions, or a place with ugliness and self-righteousness – either one, the Lord can handle it. He doesn’t want us to wait and come to him when our hearts are perfectly “right” and aligned… He wants us to come to him when we are still in the middle of the grief and the mess. When the emotions are raw and rambling, and filled with “oh, and another thing”!! I love this real example of Asaph in verses 1-11, crying out and processing his grief and anger WITH God. Can you see some of your own pleas in these verses?
And then when you continue through this chapter, you see a turning of his heart. In verses 12-23 you see the focus moving from the wrongs committed against Jerusalem and God, and instead the focus is all about God’s power. What God can do and what he has done in the past. Asaph concludes this psalm by resting in his hope that God has the power and track record to wisely handle their enemies, in the way and timing that’s best.
God can use our lamenting and pleading and turn it into a remembrance and time of praise. He wants us to come wherever we are and cast our cares on Him. He’s big enough, wise enough, patient enough, to handle our sorrow and grief.
Whether your situation is 5 minutes old or from 5 decades ago, go through your heart’s play-by-play with the Lord.