4. Laments Tune Our Hearts to Seasons of Faith
For a long time, I assumed maturing in faith was like ascending a ladder—it should always head upwards. If I couldn’t praise God optimistically, something was wrong.
But if most of the Psalms are laments, then failure, tragedy, and sorrow are an expected part of faith. If we lament, we’re not off-course—we’re in a broad tradition of people wrestling with God.
In the Psalms as a whole, the writers praise the cyclical nature of nature. In Psalm 104:19-20, the psalmist writes, “He made the moon to mark the seasons and the sun knows when to go down. You bring darkness, it becomes night, and all the beasts of the forest prowl.” The psalmist describes God’s creation as including many opposites, with darkness and light, cold and hot, predator and prey all represented.
Finding utter darkness in the lament psalms should not surprise us. In Learning to Walk in the Dark, Barbara Taylor Brown puts it this way: “Even when light fades and darkness falls--as it does every single day, in every single life—God does not turn the world over to some other deity...”
God, who separated the light from the darkness, is not surprised by shadow.
Photo Credit: Unsplash/Derek Story