This weekend I had an opportunity to team-teach a ladies only class with my friend/DTS professor Sandra Glahn at the annual Breaking Free Singles' Conference at OCBF. Our topic was a real discussion regarding one thing we all have in common whether single or married: the problem of pain and uncontentment.
Although Sandi has been married for over 27 years, she too has experienced her share of pain. I like how she put it,
"We're not running a suffering olympics here...we all have real pain."
The crux of our message consisted of encouraging the women in the audience to lament their pain as an offering of sacrificial praise, which is pleasing and acceptable to the Lord. However, as Sandi taught us in the class: before worship comes an acknowledgement of pain.
How many of us have been taught that principle?
Unfortunately in the church we sometimes feel as if it is 'ungodly' to complain or be real with God, when in fact, there are numerous accounts throughout scripture showing just the opposite. For example, some of the most popular psalms are the ones of lament. A lament is a cry, a complaint, a groan. In the Psalms of Lament, it begins with an acknowledgement of pain, but ends with a confession of trust in the Lord--returning to what is true of God's character.
Earlier this year I wrote a personal Psalm of Lament. You can read it here. I encourage you too to write your own personal lament to the Lord. I found it to be healing for me and it truly ministered to my heart the head knowledge I had of the goodness of God.
Anytime we in the Body of Christ receive an opportunity to minster to others, share our sufferings, our triumphs, and perhaps even our current battles, it is an honor. After the class a young woman came up to me with tears in her eyes grateful for the invitation to lament to the Lord. Praise God!
I believe that young woman, and I pray others present in that room heard the message: