To the secular world, Christianity has a reputation for being a rigid, beige and insipid religion that gives pithy answers in the face of grief and trite responses to suffering. Yet this is not what I read in the Bible. In the Bible we have books and pages devoted to crying out for justice for the poor and oppressed, stories of pain and suffering, poems of lament and grief. We have a God who is outraged at people’s indifference, and we are invited to participate in the fully-human experience of lament without shame or the need to keep a stiff upper lip.
Jesus himself lamented and grieved on the cross when he turned death into a shadow. ‘My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?’ (Mark 15:34b). This from the Christ who knew the grand plan and yet entered into the human experience of betrayal, pain and lament.
God is not afraid of our emotions. He does not withdraw in the face of our agony. He is fully present, ready to comfort and willing to give us an eternal perspective on the complexities of loss and grief.
May we be those who bring songs in the dark night of people’s suffering, who walk with those passing through the shadow of death, because it is there, in the shadows, where we find Jesus, the man who entered into the landscape of our sorrow.
There will be no great revival until the people of God are deeply convicted of their need of holiness.
Major Alastair Smith
The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him.
He pai a Ihowā ki te hunga e tūmanako ana ki a ia, ki te wairua e rapu ana i a ia.