King David has always been my favorite biblical character.
As a teenager, I found a photo in a magazine of a young man wearing a ring of flowers upon his black, curly hair. He resembled what I imagined David the boy shepherd may have looked like. I asked my artist mother to create a painting from the photo and replace the flowers with a crown. It would be my painting of king David.
Over the years, I read the Psalms of David. I identify with his emotions of grief, anger and love, and it wasn't until my son Joshua died by suicide nine years ago, that my faith would be put to an unimaginable test.
In the Bible, lament is used in both the Old and New Testaments. Merriam-Webster defines the word: to mourn aloud: WAIL. To express sorrow, mourning.
Lament is mentioned as one of the "a time to's" in the third chapter of Ecclesiastes. In verse four it reads, "A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance." (Eccl 3:4)
I see a promise there that we will experience gladness in due time.
Even Jesus our Lord said, "Verily, verily, I say unto you, that ye shall weep and lament, but the world shall rejoice: and ye shall be sorrowful, but your sorrow shall be turned into joy." (John 16:20)
I never understood the deep layers of this word lament. It wasn't until recently that the unstated dawned into the bigger picture of my grief for love lost.
Within hours after Joshua's death, I sensed my two choices: To cling to Lord God even in death, or use substitutes that would leave me empty.
To tell the truth, I was terrified not to stay close to the Lord, for I couldn't imagine life without Joshua. Just as biblical Jacob wrestled with an angel all night long, I too, wrestled with God for answers and His presence during my darkest season.
I remained stubborn through an escalating, never-ending raw,
unknown-to-me-before intimacy with God. Looking back, even though I did
not feel God's presence, I see He held me closer than ever before in the
dance of lament. Wrestling with God was always only about me being
honest, faithful and to trust Him.
Now I can identify with the broken hearted, for I'm broken hearted. I got God back, when it seemed I had lost Him forever.
Father, You cannot lie and You say You will never leave us nor forsake us. Thank You for being the trustworthy Holy One. In Jesus� name I pray. Amen.