Lament-to cry aloud
The Jews read the book of Lamentations publicly on the ninth day of the month of Ab (about mid-July) after the destruction of Jerusalem in 586 BC.
From 588 to 586 BC the Babylonians had a stranglehold on Jerusalem, Lamentations is Jeremiah's "cry aloud" to God during this horrific time in Jerusalem's history.
Last night Jeff and I cried until the early morning, talking about Kelsie. Laughing at the way people look at us when we mention her, how quickly a sun kissed face can turn white at the mention of her name. It's gut wrenching, she is not a ghost she is our daughter, our beloved. Say her name, Kelsie, it's ok. We talked about us, family, our struggles, our desires, I covered my eyes and just let the tears pour. Jeff asked me so tenderly, "Honey have you prayed about this, I see how your prayers work." Oh how I have needed this from my man. In that moment, the Lord turned my mourning into dancing, from the voice that I love so much a tender mercy from the Lord a promise made and a promise still to come.
I rolled over very early this morning and the first thought that came to my mind "The name of the
Lord in a strong tower, the righteous will run to it and they are safe"
(Proverbs18:10) Dylan has been studying the Names of the Lord while
staying with my friend Jaci and her boys this summer. This was one of
the scriptures that he had to memorize. It has been tattooed on my
heart all week. I cried to the Lord this morning, "I need you, I need your word, I need your voice. I am on the edge of the pit and I need your strength to pull me away. Pull me far away, I don't even want to get to close to the edge of that dark murky place." On the floor beside my bed, Jeff's bible lay open with the book of Lamentations spread out across the pages. I pick it up and I read the Introduction. To cry aloud, Lamentations consist of five poems of mourning over the utter destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple by the Babylonians. I begin reading:
She weeps bitterly in the night and her tears are on her cheeks: she has none to comfort her (Lamentations1:2)
She has no comforter. "See O Lord, my affliction, for the enemy has magnified himself!" (Lamentations 1:9)
For these things I weep; my eyes run down with water; because far from me is a comforter, one who restores my soul (Lamentations 1:16)
My eyes fail because of tears, My spirit is greatly troubled; my heart is poured out on the earth because of the destruction of the daughter of my people (Lamentations 2:11)
He has broken my bones
He has besieged and encompassed me with bitterness and hardship
In dark places He has made me dwell
He has walled me in
He has made my chain heavy
Even when I cry out and call for help He shuts out my prayer
He has blocked my ways
He has made my paths crooked
He has turned aside my ways and torn me to peices
He set me as a target for the arrow
He has broken my teeth with gravel
I have forgotten happiness
My strength has perished and so has my hope from the Lord.
(Lamentations 3:1-18 paraphrased)
I L.O.V.E the Word of God. I love that this was written over 2000 years ago. A prophet crying out to the Lord over a loss. This morning over 2000 years later, my God, knew that Jeremiah's cry for his beloved Jerusalem is the same cry that I would need to hear, my cry for my beloved Kelsie. It strengthens my faith to read our heritage. To know that truly truly the Lord knew even before I was born that on this morning mid-July over 2000 years after Jeremiah's lament, that me, His beloved daughter, desires to know that others have cried out. Prophets of the Lord cried out. They lost their hope, their strength. Then just before they got to the edge of the pit. They glanced into their soul...
Surely my soul remembers and is bowed down within me. This I recall to my mind and I have hope. The Lord's loving-kindnesses indeed never cease, For His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness. "The Lord is my portion says my soul, Therefor I have hope in Him. (Lamentations 3:20-24)
Restore us to YOU! O Lord, that we may be restored; renew our days as of old. (Lamentations 5:21)
In His strength, and by His Word, He has pulled me from the edge of the pit and this morning I stand firm on an open dirt road without a pit in sight!