Recovering the Good in Seasons of Lament

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Our years on this earth are full of seasons—ups and downs that profoundly shape us and change the trajectory of our lives.

Most every single one of us has experienced disaster in one form or another over the course of our lifetime.

Like the Psalmist David, we’ve found ourselves calling out to God asking, “How long, Lord? Will you forget me forever?” (Ps. 13:1). Whether the disaster relates to one’s personal health, loss of loved ones, or financial challenges, many can’t help but wonder where he is in these greatest moments of despair. Many find themselves questioning God’s presence, goodness, provision, and faithfulness.

Worse still, after going through this intense phase of doubt and questioning, guilt often grows for having ever wondered these things in the first place.

For others of us currently watching friends or family members experience challenging times, it’s natural to want to step in and provide encouragement wherever possible. But often, many find themselves uncertain what to say or how to go about saying it.

Questioning God

Probably subconsciously, it’s easy for believers to hear questions about God’s presence amidst a storm as critiques on his character. We then feel pressured to defend him as if he were under attack—and as if we, mere human beings, were being asked to come to his aid.

This mentality often does more damage than we realize. I remember when my sister died, people would come to our family with the hopes of providing comfort saying things like “well, maybe God’s got a bigger plan” or “God works all things together for good.”

While these people had good intentions perhaps, their words did little to comfort me or my family. The truth is that when you just lost your twenty-year-old sister, you’re not thinking about the greater good …

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