Lamenting and the Kitchen Sink
A Pastor wants God to use him in the life and lives of a Church. He just thinks it will be as a hero, and not a broken and humbled man. Silly pastor, heroism is for Jesus.
This is what is happening now, so I hope you will pay attention.
When I began this sermon series on Praying the Psalms. My hope was to take the time for peace in my own life, even if just little bit, and spend time praying the Psalms as I am (hopefully) teaching you in this current series. In my dream world I would be all contemplative and contented as I learn from praying God’s word and then I would come to you on Sundays and share what I am learning. I’m pretty sure this was the image in my mind of how this series would go.
It would appear that God has resolved to work in me a little more than I had hoped.
Today I messed my back up. This is not all that unusual for me, and normally something I can deal with for a week or so and then I begin to feel better. Of course, this back thing happened right after discovering that there are some structural problems with a part of my house. I found a little more wood rot than I bargained for and now I have to figure out what to do about that.
But wait, there’s more.
The plumbing on the kitchen sink just went all haywire, so now I have to pull out – yes – the kitchen sink – and replace almost everything underneath it.
Under the sovereign rule of God, yes, even the kitchen sink has has to go. All in one day.
This afternoon, after deciding that the sink would have to wait until tomorrow, I was driving to the church office. On the ride over I was reflecting on all of this. I was thinking of my high hopes for the summer. Thinking about how much I would have liked to grab a couple of hours of time in the Psalms today so I could be better prepared. To have the quiet time of contemplation I need to pray through the Psalms.
The thing is, interestingly, in two weeks we will be taking up a Psalm of Lament. A Psalm where the writer cries out “Lord, where are you? Can you even hear my cry of despair?” Why would I think that would come without some solid reason to lament?
Lament is difficult and painful. It is something we try to avoid as much as possible. We live in a civilization where our grocery stores regularly throw out food because
they we want the shelves to look plentiful and abundant.
Our lives can be just like our stores. We hide the decaying part of our lives in the back alleyway while spending extra to make the public facing parts of our lives look abundant.
We must learn to lament. We must learn the Biblical way to lament.
We must be honest about our pain. But as the writer says “we do not grieve as those without hope.”
We have a king who promises restoration. Our hope is not in a public appearance of abundance. Rather, that in spite of the tangible reality of decay and rot and broken plumbing, we have a King who is restoring it all.
Prepare to lament with me, and pray the Psalms.