And in that day you will say I will give praise to You, O Lord; for though You were angry with me, Your wrath is turned away, and I am comforted. See, God is my salvation; I will have faith in the Lord, without fear; for the Lord Jah is my strength and song; and He has become my salvation. So with joy you will get water out of the springs of salvation
Let your voice be sounding in a cry of joy, O daughter of Zion, for great is the Holy One of Israel among you.
One day I fell apart while talking to a dear friend about my struggles with loneliness and distractions or lack of connecting to new friends due to depression and being overwhelmed with my battles. I felt guilt-ridden for my lack of faith, reminded that everyone has problems. Yes, I acknowledge we are all suffering and struggling with something, and yes, the pain is real; it shouldn’t be dismissed, rationalized, or suppressed because it makes some feel uncomfortable. I tried looking for a silver lining, but unfortunately, my pain was intense, and as a part of my healing, I know I can talk openly to God and don’t have to worry about hurting His feelings or angering Him when I cry out of my anguish. My identity is in Christ Alone.
After reading, No more Faking Fine, Ending the Pretending by Esther Fleece (2017), the book Lamentations was no longer a threat to me; this was one I avoided because of my false perception of who God is. Esther also suffered from stalking by her father. Nevertheless, Esther’s story brings hope during times of uncertainty.
I am also grateful for Esther’s testimony about lamenting because she describes God as a good Father who hears, such as Hagar, when she fled from her abusive mistress, Sarah. Ester also describes our Lord as a Father who loves and cares about His children. He weeps with us, feels our pain, empathizes, delights in His children, and protects us. Our identity is in Christ Alone.
Unfortunately, growing up believing in religion about a God who chains legalism continues to try to take hold of us, and generations after us; we lost our identity in Christ Jesus. Sadly, more and more people are turning away from God and the church, but He never left or abandoned us because our identity is in His Only Begotten Son. I know; I left the church for a time and stopped praying. I only had tears to offer to Him; He heard. Today while speaking to the pastor’s wife about the death of my twin great-nieces, who were born premature and passed away, I turned away because I didn’t want to start crying again, something I have been doing a lot lately. When I turned to her again, she was crying; I believed her tears were the most powerful prayers I had ever witnessed at that moment. I felt the overwhelming love of God through her tears.
God knows the hearts of all His children and longs to hear our hearts through our spoken and unspoken words, our tears (Psalms 56:8). I also believe when we agree with Him that, we live in a fallen world and need His mighty sovereignty, He guides us graciously throughout the perils of each day. I have a Bible app on my cell phone, and I don’t remember ever installing it, but a verse popped up one day on my home screen. I read the verse, paraphrased, the Lord will fight for you, do not be afraid. I take Him seriously now, but I was overwhelmed with fear and experienced anxiety. I did what the Lord said not to do. I haven’t mastered fear yet; however, the Lord was faithful as He always is, even when we are not because our identity is in Christ Alone.
We can come to Him like a child who feels safe while protesting and lamenting to her earthly father or mother without fear of harm, shame, or abandonment. But unfortunately, not many of us have ever experienced this kind of relationship with our earthly parents, caregivers, or other persons of authority because of our conditioning to people-please into compliance, discouragement, or complacency.
From early childhood, the punishment was severe when we questioned authority for something we knew was wrong. Children already know right from wrong; we’re hardwired. We suffer the consequences through corporal punishment, are ostracized by friends and family, or are shamed into spiritual or emotional death, so we are taught to walk on eggshells and not wake the sleeping giant who is the hierarchy in the home.
Unfortunately, the sleeping giant is awake in our homes, government, schools, and leadership. He mocks the Lord fearlessly because he has managed to intimidate us, or we, the children of God, are either too fearful, faithless, or discouraged to cry out to the God of Abraham, Isaac, and the God of Jacob to rise and fight for His people. I confess all of the above and repent to the Lord for succumbing to fear, idolatry, and complacency. Please cry out to God in your true identity; we are the children of God, sons, and daughters of Zion!