Have you heard of that English phrase “Stiff upper lip”? It basically means when you are facing suffering or hardships you need to power through! Don’t let anyone know you are struggling, don’t let them see you are hurting. But seriously, joking aside – It’s one thing to not be focussed on just the struggling but that ‘stiff upper lip’ attitude is so dysfunctional. How is pretending everything is ok any better than being unable to see anything else but your problems and trials?
Let me ask you this – when you are hurting and struggling where do you go for strength – support – help – comfort?
If you are anything like me you learned that you don’t quickly admit weaknesses and struggles to others. When someone asks ‘how are you doing?’ – the correct answer is…… ‘fine‘ – here’s my ‘fine‘ face!
So here’s my point today – if you’ve learned to present the ‘stiff upper lip’ and if you’ve learned to hide your struggles, do you then think you need to present those same responses to God? Is it a lack of faith to grieve before God, to mourn before God – is it ‘complaining‘ to grieve and mourn before God? I would answer that question with tis answer – It can be but it doesn’t always have to be.
We may not be able to go to others but we can be real with God – I’ve been thinking about the difference between complaining to God and lamenting before God. Complaining to God presents a sense of dissatisfaction. Complaining is not a response of faith. Complaining says – ‘God, I didn’t sign up for this, I want my problems sorted….now!’ – Lamenting on the other hand is very different. Lamenting is going before God and telling him your hurts, your suffering and your pain. I call this ‘God honoring lamenting’. Lamenting is simply praying your hurt and pain to God. Being real before Him. But as I’ve done some research I have found that there is a great absence of writing and a great absence of substantive messages. I even checked on Apple music and there is an absence of Godly lamenting music!
But if you open up your Bibles you will find that the pages have accounts of believers lamenting. Here’s an example: Psalm 60:10 – ‘Have you not rejected us, O God? You do not go forth, O God, with our armies‘.
I’m learning that it is possible for believers in Jesus Christ to have faith but also lament. More to come………..