I had a list of complaints tonight as I checked my mail to see that I am still behind financially and have only the promise of increase, one that has yet to be seen. I wanted to appeal my case to God and I though I had a good enough argument until I got to worship rehearsal. The first song declared the greatness of God and how there is none compared to him. During rehearsal there are usually so many technicalities we are trying to work out that it sounds like we are just practicing. But not tonight. As I sang I believed what I was saying and my God perspective rose up and put my problem right back where they belong. Even in my time of need I can still declare God has been better than good to me.
This thought led me to Lamentations 3 where the profit Jeremiah listed his complaints against God. This was not a pretty complaint but one of deep sorrow.
I am the one who has seen the afflictions that come from the rod of the Lord ’s anger. He 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. He has blocked my way with a high stone wall; he has made my road crooked. He has hidden like a bear or a lion, waiting to attack me. He has dragged me off the path and torn me in pieces, leaving me helpless and devastated. He has drawn his bow and made me the target for his arrows. He shot his arrows deep into my heart. My own people laugh at me. All day long they sing their mocking songs. He has filled me with bitterness and given me a bitter cup of sorrow to drink. He has made me chew on gravel. He has rolled me in the dust. Peace has been stripped away, and I have forgotten what prosperity is. I cry out, “My splendor is gone! Everything I had hoped for from the Lord is lost!” The thought of my suffering and homelessness is bitter beyond words. I will never forget this awful time, as I grieve over my loss.
Lamentations 3:1-21 NLT
What a list! For this we could consider his sorrow valid. Sometimes it is hard to be candid with God because we reverence him. Though he is sovereign he is still father. To our father we can share our concerns. To our father we can make our request known. Even in his dispare Jeremiah still dared to hope.
Yet I still dare to hope when I remember this: The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning. I say to myself, “The Lord is my inheritance; therefore, I will hope in him!” The Lord is good to those who depend on him, to those who search for him. So it is good to wait quietly for salvation from the Lord . And it is good for people to submit at an early age to the yoke of his discipline: Let them sit alone in silence beneath the Lord ’s demands. Let them lie face down in the dust, for there may be hope at last. Let them turn the other cheek to those who strike them and accept the insults of their enemies. For no one is abandoned by the Lord forever. Though he brings grief, he also shows compassion because of the greatness of his unfailing love. For he does not enjoy hurting people or causing them sorrow.
Lamentations 3:21-33 NLT
Wow! Only worship can get us to a place where we can still put our hope in God. Only by faith can we declare that all things (yes ALL) are working together for our good because we love God and are called according to his purpose.