Ecclesiastes 3:4: “...a time to weep…”
One of the spiritual disciplines that often do not make the “Top 10” list in articles you read or books on spiritual formation is the art of lamenting. Christians are often pushed to the Psalms when struggling and overwhelmed, but find it hard to, and often feel guilty when admitting great pain exists.
Paul in Philippians exhorts us, “think and act like Christ Jesus. Christ Himself was like God in everything.”
This all of Christ for all of life mandate includes that of lamenting when life requires it. This is echoed in Solomon’s timely words on “seasons.” In Ecclesiastes Chapter 3, the wise King says there is a;
“time to weep,
And a time to laugh;
A time to mourn,
And a time to dance;
Our Lord’s tears were shed in John 11 because he truly lamented the loss of his friend and the pain that it caused others around Him. Godly lamenting is powerful and often comes before the resurrection. Psalm 88 speaks to our isolation, and we can sit in that lamenting space, knowing that Christ has been there before us. We can really trust that Christ knows and understands our pain. He has lamented over great pain and is along with us when we wait to hear from the Lord.
Make no mistake Christian, as Romans 8:23-25 declares,
“And we believers also groan, even though we have the Holy Spirit within us as a foretaste of future glory, for we long for our bodies to be released from sin and suffering.”
God will not be mocked in redeeming the loss and pain in this world. The desire to lament as a Christian is natural. We are sojourners in this world and long for the making of all things new. Be encouraged.