You can’t be around people too long before someone turns the conversation to a “woe is me” theme. You have heard it… “my spouse, kids, or roommates are so difficult to live with”. Or maybe their complaint is about their boss or co-workers that are soo bad. Then of course, there are those who believe their lives are the absolute worst anyone could have and we all need to hear about their troubles.
Yes, I realize we need to listen, have mercy and pray for these miserable souls. But after awhile I just want to say enough is enough and walk away.
Lament…expressing grief, sorrow or regret
Laments and the psalms. I read recently there are more laments in the book of Psalms than any other category of psalm. In fact more then one-third of the psalms are laments. Wow! Complaining about our troubles is not new.
Read the verses below and consider what the psalmist is lamenting…
1 Out of the depths I have cried to You, O LORD.
2 Lord, hear my voice!
Let Your ears be attentive
To the voice of my supplications.
3 If You, LORD, should mark iniquities,
O Lord, who could stand?
4 But there is forgiveness with You,
That You may be feared.
What do you learn about the psalmist? He is in deep, feeling overwhelmed. He is crying out to God. But by verse 3, he is ready to acknowledge his own sinfulness and God’s forgiveness.
Now read the next two verses. What change do you notice in the tone of the psalm?
5 I wait for the LORD, my soul does wait,
And in His word do I hope.
6 My soul waits for the Lord
More than the watchmen for the morning;
Indeed, more than the watchmen for the morning.
What more do you learn about the psalmist? Has his situation changed? Not that we know. But has his attitude changed? Definitely! He goes from crying out to God in his misery to finding hope in God’s word and being willing to wait for the Lord.
In the final two verses the psalmist sings God’s praises to Israel. Encouraging them to hope in the Lord and His lovingkindness and redemption.
7 O Israel, hope in the LORD;
For with the LORD there is lovingknindness,
and with Him is abundant redemption.
8 And He will redeem Israel
From all his iniquities
Sometimes I wonder if we get stuck in the complaint cycle. Repeatedly crying out in our misery without recognizing our own sinfulness and God’s forgiveness. And then being unable to find hope in God because our focus is on our misery…
As the watchman waits from the morning through the long and dark night, I too will wait and hope in God through the difficult and dark trials in my life.