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Cry Out in the Night

Read: Lamentations 2:17-22

Pour out your heart like water before the presence of the Lord! (v. 19)

During their “empty nest” years, my grandparents cared for foster children. Many of them carried emotional wounds and dysfunctional coping strategies. Once, a child burned himself on the wood stove. Instead of telling my grandparents, he hid his injury until it became seriously infected. Prior experience led him to expect punishment for accidents, and he had learned not to cry out in pain or call for help.

In Lamentations 1:5, Jeremiah acknowledges, “The LORD has afflicted [Judah] for the multitude of her transgressions.” Because the exile was a consequence of the nation’s unfaithfulness, they might assume God wanted nothing more to do with them, and stop expecting God to answer their cries of pain and appeals for help. But Jeremiah knew better. He knew God intended not to hurt his people but heal them. God used their suffering to bring them back to his side. Jeremiah urged his people to cry out to the God who was still with them.

I wonder if we hesitate to pray when we assume that our troubles are our own fault. We assume God must tire of our mistakes and self-inflicted problems. But God insists he never tires of our prayers. In Luke 11:13, Jesus describes God as a Father who wants our very best. Hebrews 4:16 urges us to approach God with all confidence because Christ is our mediator. Our Father invites us to call to him, no matter our need. He hears us and he will answer.

As you pray, open your heart and pour out your cares to your heavenly Father.

About the Author

Ben Van Arragon has served various Christian Reformed congregations since 2003. He currently serves as pastor at Plymouth Heights Christian Reformed Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

This entry is part 8 of 15 in the series Lamentations: When God is Silent