Let’s truly lament as the church in America.
We are divided as a country and as God’s people. Disastrous storms and droughts plague our land. People are hurting and helpless. And we’re so busy supporting our tribes and political alliances that we never see the beams in our own eyes.
So let’s shift our focus to the only one whose approval matters—God Almighty. He can’t be pleased with us. We have abandoned him, the fountain of living water, and built cisterns that are broken and can’t hold water at all (Jeremiah 2:13).
If we will quit blaming others for what’s happening and take a long, hard look at ourselves, we should fall on our knees, lamenting and repenting before God. He is always ready with arms open, waiting for his people to quit trusting anyone or anything other than him for their lives and future. He is capable of taking care of his children whatever happens—both easy and hard times. Our trust must be in him, or we look to the wells made ourselves for water that isn’t there.
And so we lament. We sorrow over the state of the church and the hatred in the country. We lament over who and what we’ve trusted instead of God. We confess that we’ve desired other things on earth more than God’s cause of advancing his kingdom as we love our neighbors.
I’m guilty. I’ve wanted peace and comfort over the rigors of God’s assignments. I’ve trusted in my own abilities rather than in God’s sovereign work through me. I’ve held onto my own safety and freedoms instead of releasing them to God so that he can use me to sacrificially love others. I’ve let my fears overcome my generosity, and my anger override kindness.
And so I lament, confessing my own sins and those of my people. Lament is more than the saying I’m sorry, but it involves actual grief over what sin required of Christ, and it involves true repentance.
King Josiah models what true lament looks like. When the temple was being cleaned out and restored under his leadership, the workers found God’s Word. Unbelievably it was lost. When the priests read it aloud to the king, he lamented and repented by cleansing everything of the idolatry that extended from the temple to the edges of the land (2 Kings 22:1-23:30; 2 Chronicles 34-35).
Let’s set our hearts to seek God’s face, asking him to show us our personal idols. Then let’s lament and repent by digging up our empty cisterns and letting the fountain of living water flow in our lives.