The Cry of "Why?" IS the Cry of Faith
~with H. Norman Wright
and Michael Card
The cry of why is a cry of lament. This cry is good. It is necessary. It is a cry of protest to God, but also a cry of faith. Michael Card's book, A Sacred Sorrow, describes how lament is a biblical pattern for our lives. He states:
"When then, does God enshrine so many laments in His Word? Laments, we must realize are God's Word. Why are so many Biblical characters shown as disappointed and angry with God? Do we seek to learn from all the other facets of their lives but this? I would put it to you this way:
People like Job, David, Jeremiah, and even Jesus revealed to us that prayers of complaint can still be prayers of faith.
They represent the last refusal to let go of the God who may seem to be absent or worse--uncaring.
If this is true, then lament expresses one of the most intimate moments of faith--not a denial of it.
"It is supreme honesty before a God who my faith tells me I can trust. He encourages me to bring everything as an act of worship, my disappointment, frustration, and even my hate. Only lament uncovers this kind of new faith, a biblical faith that better understands God's heart as it is revealed through Jesus Christ."
He also talks about the purpose of lamenting:
"What lament would have us understand: the answer is graciously being given. His Presence is always with us.
Lament is the path that takes us to the place where we discover that there is no complete answer to pain and suffering, only Presence.
"The language of lament gives a meaningful form to our grief by providing a vocabulary for our suffering and then offering it to God as worship. Our questions and complaints will never find individual answers (even Job's questions were never fully answered). The only Answer is the dangerous, disturbing, comforting Presence, which is the true answer to all our questions and hopes."
~H. Norman Wright, Helping Those in Grief
~Michael Card, A Sacred Sorrow: Reaching Out to God and the Lost Language of Lament
picture: "Jesus at the Garden of Gethsemane" from AllPosters.com