When I discovered your words, I devoured them.
They are my joy and my heart’s delight, for I bear your name, O Lord God of Heaven’s Armies.
I never joined the people in their merry feasts. I sat alone because your hand was on me.
I was filled with indignation at their sins. Why then does my suffering continue? Why is my wound so incurable?
Your help seems as uncertain as a seasonal brook, like a spring that has gone dry.” (NLT)
The first thing to note here is that it is OK to lament. The most prominent category of Psalm is lament. We can look on Jeremiah as a gloomy depressive but he is merely a human being who can’t figure out why God doesn’t seem to be coming good for him in this season of life.
There are two types of Christians who can’t accept this way of thinking and feeling. One is the rationalist who want explanation for everything an figure that there is one if only we do more reading or more praying. The other is the romantic who want and expect relief from each and every setback or hardship. They assume their faith in God will grant such relief.
So what happens when God does not grant us either explanations or relief? Jeremiah could only lament, and perhaps that is what we can do. That does not mean our faith cannot help us, it just means that the help may come in different forms. Our faith does indeed have answers, but they may not be the answers we want or expect.
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The great task of faith is not to demand God clear up the mess or explain the mystery. The great task of faith is to invite God to help us live creatively and boldly with the mess and the mystery that are etched deep into the landscape of our lives.