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  • Writer's pictureAllison Wilcox

Lament and Praise

O Lord, you have enticed me,

  and I was enticed;

 you have overpowered me,

  and you have prevailed.

 I have become a laughingstock all day long;

  everyone mocks me.

For whenever I speak, I must cry out,

  I must shout, “Violence and destruction!”

 For the word of the Lord has become for me

  a reproach and derision all day long.

If I say, “I will not mention him,

  or speak any more in his name,”

 then within me there is something like a burning fire

  shut up in my bones;

 I am weary with holding it in,

  and I cannot.

For I hear many whispering:

  “Terror is all around!

 Denounce him! Let us denounce him!”

  All my close friends

  are watching for me to stumble.

 “Perhaps he can be enticed,

  and we can prevail against him,

  and take our revenge on him.”

But the Lord is with me like a dread warrior;

  therefore my persecutors will stumble,

  and they will not prevail.

 They will be greatly shamed,

  for they will not succeed.

 Their eternal dishonor

  will never be forgotten.

O Lord of hosts, you test the righteous,

  you see the heart and the mind;

 let me see your retribution upon them,

  for to you I have committed my cause.

Sing to the Lord;

  praise the Lord!

 For he has delivered the life of the needy

  from the hands of evildoers. ~ Jeremiah 20:7-13

Jeremiah had reason to lament. As prophets go, he had it pretty rough. No one wanted to hear what he had to say.

Yet despite that, Jeremiah praises God.

Despite that, Jeremiah doesn't doubt God is with him.

Doesn't doubt God's power and ability to prevail.

Doesn't doubt that God hears his lament.

I'm sure I don't have to tell you that this kind of faith is hard. We live in uncertain times. There are all kinds of dangers surrounding us.

You'd be forgiven to lament about that.

In fact, you'd be encouraged to.

God can take it.

God hears it.

God understands it.

God surrounds you during the times of lament. There is nowhere we can go that God hasn't already been to.

Here my cries, O God! Help me to know you are with me at all times. Even the scary ones. Amen

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