Sunday's message about handling loss wasn't one you look forward to sharing. I can't say it's exciting to come to church and think to yourself, "Today I get to talk about people losing loved ones, losing significant moments in their lives like graduations, birthday parties, and wedding receptions, losing jobs, losing security, and losing our normal way of life!" How depressing, right? But it's where we are living and live and where many people found themselves in the Bible - experiencing loss and the negative feelings that go with it.
But as we said Sunday, following Jesus does not exclude us from loss. This is why God gave us a lament. A lament has two parts, admitting we are not okay and then choosing not to stay that way. In fact, on the cross Jesus gave us the perfect picture of a lament. Jesus asked God why He had forsaken Him. That was Jesus saying, "I am not okay." Then moments later Jesus entrusts His Spirit to the Father. That was Jesus saying, "I am okay now."
We have to learn that a lament is saying, "It is okay not to be okay, but it is not okay to stay that way." A lament has hurt and hope, fear and love, pain and comfort, loss and gain, and doubt and faith. The biggest thing about a lament is we express both sides in our prayers and with other trusted people in our lives.
So as we head into another week, let's follow Jesus. Jesus earned the right to hear our laments by suffering great loss. This is why Jesus is our great High Priest - He experiences all of our losses! So be reminded that the losses you have experienced have earned you the right to hear other peoples' laments. You can be a bridge builder to God by listening to the laments of those who have lost loved ones, significant moments, jobs, security, and a normal way of life because you may have experienced these losses in your life as well.
Scripture: 2 Corinthians 12:9 (NIV)
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”
“Father, I have lossed (name it) and this is how I feel (express it). But I call to mind who You are (name who God is) and what You have done (recall his traits). I am so thankful God for the ability to lament. I also ask you to help me use the losses I have experienced to build a bridge to You. I want to listen to others and be a bridge builder to help them cross the loss. In Jesus' name, Amen."