The other day I woke up with a song in my head. I don’t often wake up with songs playing in my mind, but the song Weep With Me by Rend Collective was playing on repeat. It’s a beautiful song, one that asks questions of God whilst also praising Him for His goodness. It’s a song that’s bought me comfort over the years and been a bit of a prayer.
Weep with me, Lord, will You weep with me?
I don’t need answers, all I need, Is to know that You care for me
Hear my plea, Are You even listening?
Lord, I will wrestle with Your heart, But I won’t let You go*
One of the most beautiful things about Jesus is that He is big enough to handle our questions. Over the years, I have asked God a lot of questions. A LOT. Some questions have been asked in curiosity, some in desperation, and some in anger. Regardless, I’ve asked. And I’ve wrestled. And whilst God hasn’t always answered my questions (many of our heated conversations have been one sided!) He has never withheld his love from me for asking. In fact, over the years I’ve felt His love at a deeper level on the back of my desperate or angry questions.
Jesus is not a human with an ego that gets offended at our questions and doubts. In Genesis, we read how Jacob wrestled all night with the Angel of the Lord (Genesis 32:22-32). Jacob wouldn’t let go until he was assured he would be blessed. And God blessed him. He didn’t withhold His blessing from him because he wrestled with Him. His love was, is and always will be stronger and more secure than that. We can take comfort in the fact that God knows our hearts and knows our doubts before we even realise them, and He still chooses to love us and pursue us.
What’s true in the light is still true in the dark.
Yet I will praise You, Yet I will sing of Your name
Here in the shadows, Here I will offer my praise
What’s true in the light, Is still true in the dark
You’re good and You’re kind, And You care for this heart
Lord, I believe, You weep with me*
One of the things that the enemy tries to do when things are hard is convince us that God has forgotten us. He tries to make us believe that God has gone back on all His promises, that He doesn’t really loves us enough to come good on what He promised. As life gets harder, that deceptive voice shouts, “even God doesn’t love you because if He did, you wouldn’t be going through this.” I have heard that lie screamed more times than I can count. And there have been times when I have believed it, too. I have told myself that if I was really worthy and valuable in God’s eyes, I wouldn’t be going through what I’m going through. That God would protect me from it.
Nothing could be further from the truth.
The presence of pain, suffering and struggles doesn’t equal an absence of God. We live in a broken and hurting world full of grief and pain. We will all experience it at some point. But that’s not a reflection of His heart and character. Nowhere in the bible does God promise us that we won’t face trials and heartache. What God does promise us however, is that He loves us and won’t abandon us. In Psalm 32:8 says, “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you.” This is God’s promise to us. This is what we can hold onto and have faith in when life is hard; God may not change our circumstances, but He won’t make us face them alone. And what’s more, He will instruct us on what to do without taking His eyes off of us.
Lament and praise.
Turn my lament into a love song, From this lament, raise up an anthem
(I’ll sing it in the darkness)*
When darkness closes in, it’s easy to forget His promises. But the darkness doesn’t erase what He promised you. The valley seasons do not negate His faithfulness. Yet, knowing that He is with us and having hope in His goodness doesn’t always take the pain away, either. So in those moments, we lament. We pour out our heart to God. We see it throughout the bible, mighty men and women of the bible lamenting and pouring out their pain, and we can do the same. God isn’t scared of our pain. Nor is he offended by it. He sits with us in it and weeps with us. Aches with us. Hurts with us.
Whilst we can, and should, lament and share our pain with God, we need to be careful that we don’t get stuck there. Instead, we need to ask God to use it. Like the lyrics say, ‘Turn my lament into a love song. From this lament, raise up an anthem.’
We need to give Him our pain and ask Him to do something with it. We need to refocus our eyes and hearts on Him, not our situation, and the best way to do that is to turn our lamentations into praise. We pray back His promises. We declare His goodness and love over us. Like King David preached to himself, telling his soul not to be downcast (Psalm 43:5), we need to preach to ourselves. We need to remind ourselves that He is still good. He still cares. He still loves us. And we praise Him. When we are walking in the shadows, we offer our praise. We praise Him because we are not walking alone. We thank Him for leading us with His eye on us.
God loves us and weeps with us in our pain. He hasn’t forgotten you or turned away with you. He is in the midst of your heartache. We just need to keep holding onto Him and walking with Him. Today, whatever your season is, may you feel His endless love for you.
When have you felt God sit with you in your pain? What has that looked like for you?
*Lyrics from ‘Weep With Me’ by Rend Collective