There’s much sorrow when the deep desires of our heart go unfulfilled. We grow heartsick with longing knowing things can be different. Lament expresses our desire for better and our disappointment for remaining without.
Grief helps us to come to terms with loss – something we cared for is gone or is not in the realm of possibilities.
We might grieve the death of a loved one or the loss of a job.
We might also have to grieve who our spouse is not, for example. They may never be as extroverted and adventurous or sophisticated and classy as we might like.
Whatever the situation, grief allows us to acknowledge the loss and move forward in this new reality.
Lament, on the other hand, is the anger and sorrow we experience when a situation can be different but is not.
And this goes deeper than simply not getting our way. Lament speaks to the deep longings of our heart. We’re missing something that matters to our soul’s vitality.
For instance, we might lament the lack of oneness in our marriage. After we have grieved all our personality differences and preferences, we still want to be one with our wife and it brings us deep sorrow when we are not.
Likewise, we might lament not having a fulfilling sex life, deep friendships, or the freedom to pursue work that matters.
We express our sorrow because these deep desires remain possible even though they are not yet being fulfilled.
And this is much more than merely complaining about what we don’t have. Laments bare our soul and carry with them an earnest plea and request for things to be different.
Maybe with a mix of anger and sorrow we pray for the situation to be redeemed.
And in this way, laments exercise our faith and hope in God. We pour our hearts out to the one who can make a difference.
Trust God as you let laments express the unfulfilled desires of your heart.