In case you've ever wondered, wailing is not my favorite. Lamentations, a book of wailing, is not my favorite, either. It's mighty glum reading.
Lamentations was read annually by the Jews to remind them of the fall of Jerusalem and their captivity in Babylon.
It begins with a heart-wrenching personification of Jerusalem. She sits, weeps, grieves, and is comfortless.
Judah gets a turn, as well. In exile. No rest. Overwhelmed. Mourning. Bitter. Hungry. Even the roads in Zion mourned. It's not a pretty picture. (Lam.1:4)
Lamentations 1 calls repeatedly for God to take note of their situation. "See, O, Lord..." It goes on to say, "See if there is any pain like my pain..." No one, the writer believed, had ever had it worse, and it was all God's fault. (Not in so many words, but the intent is clear...)
Three times in the first chapter, the writer said he wept because "there is no one to comfort me."
There's genuine sorrow over their circumstances, but there does not appear to be sorrow over their sin. It brings to mind a line from Gone With the Wind... (The Leanna Paraphrase coming up.) They were not at all sorry they had sinned, but they were very, very sorry God had called them to account.
What the people wanted was not cleansing from sin, but comfort in the midst of their sin. They didn't want to change. They wanted to feel better about business as usual.
I'm afraid that sometimes describes me, as well. Eager for relief. Not so eager for change. What about you?
If we want comfort in the midst of our divine discipline, we need to do more than whine and wail. We need to repent and turn from our sin. In fact, it's the best way to prevent a stint of divine discipline.
God's not in the business of making us feel better. His agenda is always for us to BE better.
"For I desire steadfast love and not sacrifice, the knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings." Hosea 6:6 esv
Today, let's ask ourselves one very important question. Do we want to feel better or be better? If we only want to feel better, we will never please God. If we want to be more like Christ, our Lord is happy to help us along that path, and He will.
There's a choice to be made. Let's choose wisely.
"And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord's glory, are being transformed into His image with every-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit. 2 Corinthians 3:18 niv
In case you missed it, here's the link to yesterday's post: What About Me?
Here's the link to the prayer guide: The Prayer List
Here's the link to my Global Outreach page: Leanna Hollis MD