I was talking with a friend about some hard things I have been going through. I was mad at God, hurt, and sad. Did God forsake me? Is God against me? I felt so embarrassed, a pastor’s wife angry with God. How can I minister to others when I feel so devoid of God’s support? I just could not seem to get rid of my deep sorrow. Then I thought of my pain in a different light.
I thought of the many people of the Bible who felt the injustice of life. Job, David, and many of the Psalmists cried out to God. God did not smite them. God did not shame them. I found the article Psalms “My God, My God, Why?” Understanding the Lament Psalms describing the purpose, artistry, and form of the Psalms of Lament. Here is the form using Psalm 77.
For Jeduthun, the choir director: A psalm of Asaph.
1 I cry out to God; yes, I shout.
Oh, that God would listen to me!
2 When I was in deep trouble,
I searched for the Lord.
All night long I prayed, with hands lifted toward heaven,
but my soul was not comforted.
3 I think of God, and I moan,
overwhelmed with longing for his help. Interlude
4 You don’t let me sleep.
I am too distressed even to pray!
5 I think of the good old days,
long since ended,
6 when my nights were filled with joyful songs.
I search my soul and ponder the difference now.
7 Has the Lord rejected me forever?
Will he never again be kind to me?
8 Is his unfailing love gone forever?
Have his promises permanently failed?
9 Has God forgotten to be gracious?
Has he slammed the door on his compassion? Interlude
10 And I said, “This is my fate;
the Most High has turned his hand against me.”
Expression of Trust
11 But then I recall all you have done, O Lord;
I remember your wonderful deeds of long ago.
12 They are constantly in my thoughts.
I cannot stop thinking about your mighty works.
13 O God, your ways are holy.
Is there any god as mighty as you?
14 You are the God of great wonders!
You demonstrate your awesome power among the nations.
15 By your strong arm, you redeemed your people,
the descendants of Jacob and Joseph. Interlude
16 When the Red Seaa] saw you, O God,
its waters looked and trembled!
The sea quaked to its very depths.
17 The clouds poured down rain;
the thunder rumbled in the sky.
Your arrows of lightning flashed.
18 Your thunder roared from the whirlwind;
the lightning lit up the world!
The earth trembled and shook.
19 Your road led through the sea,
your pathway through the mighty waters—
a pathway no one knew was there!
20 You led your people along that road like a flock of sheep,
with Moses and Aaron as their shepherds.
Understanding many others have gone before me and complained to God in their life circumstance freed me to talk to Him about my pain. I now have a form I can use to cry out to God in prayer.