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IBC Women’s Ministry Blog – September 3, 2020

IBC Women’s Ministry Blog – September 3, 2020

Pop Up Scripture Encouragement through a Discussion on Death & Lament- Ironic?

 

By Jodie Montgomery

 

If I could play background music with a blog, this would be my moment of going dramatic. I would play a dirge. I have these moments in ministry where I know something is just right to discuss but I also know the topic is heavy. Many people in our culture run from heavy. I just wish I knew how to communicate that we need to talk about the heavy as the norm may be heavy. The Kingdom is not fully realized.

 

I did not expect many to attend our Pop Up Scripture zoom call on Death & Lament. Not exactly an invite for the faint of heart. Not exactly a longing for another zoom call. Not exactly high on priority lists in the midst of returns to school and making up missed doctor appointments. But for me and the remnant that attended, the discussion was treasured. So I share some points with you, as you are treasured.

 

Pastor Edgar led the teaching. There were so many points that I found freeing, including:

  • The Bible presents that life on this earth is not always great.
  • Drinking out of the well of materialism gives a false perspective of life.
  • We see sadness and loneliness as such failures, but to be a Christian is NOT to be happy all the time. Christ is known as the Man of Sorrows.
  • People may shame those who suffer. See Job.
  • David and Jeremiah, in particular, know the language of lament.
  • The language of lament is a language of expressed faith. 
  • Lament stands between pain and promise. Lament is the prayer that takes us to the promises of God.
  • This is honest, “Lord, I know You are good but right now I don’t feel Your goodness.”
  • God reveals He can handle our self-pity, anger, fear and sense of being forsaken. 
  • The Psalms not only give permission, they encourage expression of what God already knows.
  • Praying the Psalms brings our whole heart before God.
  • The tomb is empty but it had to be full at one point. 
  • Jesus wept. (over Lazarus, Jerusalem, in the garden, on the cross…)
  • Deepest adoration is in our most vulnerable moments when we feel His presence or at least are clinging to it. 
  • True worship begins in the wilderness.
  • The world is lamenting without hope. The believer’s lament is different; it is redemptive.

 

I was reminded to be a better listener and to thank God for those willing to listen to me in my struggles. Attempts to explain suffering can be so hurtful. The question of those who sorrow is really not “why?” but “how long?”. Saying “I’m so sorry” is a right good thing to say. Sitting with one another, praying for one another, not over talking, letting one another know we remember and care, refusing to judge one another for the way we mourn, …. These are all ways to bless one another and affirm the significance of one another.

 

We read Psalm 13, 22 and 31 together. We were united in longing for His deliverance. We appreciated the language lesson.

 

Psalm 13:1 How long, O LORD? Will You forget me forever? How long will You hide Your face from me?