Lamenting And Thanking

November 12, 2017
by Karen Lubbers

Psalm 13:1-6 – How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me? How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and every day have sorrow in my heart? How long will my enemy triumph over me? Look on me and answer me, O Lord my God. Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep in death; my enemy will say, "I have overcome him," and my foes will rejoice when I fall. But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation. I will sing to the Lord, for he has been good to me. (NIV)

A few months ago, I left Soroti, Uganda — my home and mission field — to have an eight-day vacation with my parents in Ireland. Arriving at the airport, I could barely grab my bags off the luggage carousel because I was experiencing two major pulmonary embolisms. From there, I spent five days in the hospital, and then, I had to spend six weeks in Ireland, waiting for my body, lungs, and heart to heal and be safe enough to fly again. During follow-up doctor visits, it was discovered that I have further medical issues, so my insurance company flew me to my other home — Canada — to undergo surgery. I am now, unexpectedly, away from Uganda for eleven weeks, and this adventure is far from over.

The medical journey has been long, tearful, painful, and full of questions. The unexpected absence from Uganda has meant just letting go and trusting other people to pay bills or step up to fill ministry opportunities.

And yet, I know that God is good. The Lord has a plan for my life. He desires me to have this time of rest. I have seen His hand at work, as many people have been praying or helping me to communicate with others at a distance, and doctors have had miraculous openings to get proper medical care faster.

All of us have times of lament — sorrow, grief, pain, struggles, enemies, and loss — but we still need to praise God through those storms.

    Lamentation is a powerful, and meaningful, form of worship because it places our love for God above even the worst of circumstances in our life. … God does not ask us to deny the existence of our suffering. He does want us to collect it, stand in those things and make Him an offering. The Holy Spirit, our Comforter, helps us to do this: He aligns Himself with our will and says, "I will help you to will to worship God." The glory of the majesty of God is that He helps us will and do. – Graham Cooke

Thanking God honestly and worshipping Him intimately during a time of suffering is difficult, but we must choose to recognize the majesty of God at work in our lives. He is a God Who desires to comfort, heal, and bring peace.

In church the other day, the pastor gave us all an assignment, and I would love you to do the homework as well. First, offer your lament to God, and then, share your moments of thanks or glory to God:

Lord, my heart cries out…

But…

Prayer: Almighty Father, we know that sometimes, life can be overwhelming and super-challenging. Forgive us for failing to see You in the hard times. Help us to trust in You through the good and the bad. Lord, fill us with Your peace and comfort, because we all desire to sing, "It is well with my soul", to the glory of Your holy name. Amen.

About the author:

Karen Lubbers <ttklubbers@hotmail.com>

Soroti, Uganda


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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    You will be in my thoughts and in my prayers! I hope all goes well for you and that soon you will be in good health!


    Thank you, Karen, for sharing this devotional with us. Praying for your medical issues and for complete recovery so that you can once again serve the Lord with vigor and gladness. Blessings.


    I too, am in that place and praising God in the midst of suffering and pain. My life is in His hands and I will praise Him. Thank you for your devotional! We wait to see what God will do with our lives NOW.


    I re-read the first Paragraph, gave it a lot of thought.
    Then I came to the last line and one of my most favourite Hymns came up,”It is well with my soul.” Thank you.


    That is a very powerful message that will help many people.
    I will keep it to read over and over again.
    Thank you for sharing.


    Karen, wishing you a complete recovery.
    Thank you for sharing, and for a beautiful devotional message and prayer.
    Blessings.


    May the Lord be with you, Karen. He knows you and you know him. Thank you for sharing your journey, your faith and your hope. It was encouraging.
    (Ontario)


    What a powerful and beautiful testimony to faith that carries us all through the seasons of life. To rest in God’s love is a wonderful gift of grace.
    Thank you for sharing your struggle and God’s consolation.
    Blessings on your day.


    Thank you for today’s devotional Karen. The main thing is that you are “here”….alive. It’s evident that God does indeed have a plan and direction for you, and maybe the beginning of that plan was to share your story. May God continue to Bless and Be with you for continued healing, and in listening to what direction he’s choosing for your new path.


    Dear Karen,
    Thank you very much for today’s devotional. I have medical issues which others and I have been praying about for quite some time now. I know you, me and others will get our miracles.
    God bless you.


    Dear Karen, thank you for this message – a difficult one for me to understand and even more difficult to practice, but necessary.
    Please let me offer all best wishes for a speedy recovery. I pray that God will heal your body and mind. How fortunate you are to be Canadian where you can receive excellent treatment. He has a plan for you throughout this. God Bless and Keep you.


    Karen,
    Yes, we go through these valleys of sickness, disappointment but remember, Karen, our God never leaves us – He is faithful and guides us on our journey.
    I pray you are feeling stronger and I am thankful for all the wonderful medical care, support you have received.
    God Bless!
    (ONTARIO)


    Thank you for today’s devotion.
    Your devotion hit home for me as I’m about to undergo my first major surgery and will be home bound for approximately 3 months. I have never missed a Christmas Eve service.
    That will be hard for me but with the help of God I will be okay. I have a lot of responsibilities at my church and I need to trust someone will step up and see everything gets done.
    Thank you again.
    Blessings.


    Dear Karen,
    I sincerely hope and pray for a full recovery for you.
    I do understand your pains.
    But, Alas! in every thing give thanks and listen for the Lord’s still voice, he promises that he will never give us more than we can bear, and never break his promises.
    The song “Oceans (where my feet may falls) comes to my mind as I read your devotion …”may your soul rest in his embrace Karen, as you call upon the Lord’s name, because you are his and he is yours.”
    May you be healed in Jesus name.
    My prayers and thoughts are with you.
    Stay blessed.


    Blessings on you Karen. You are in my prayers.


    Beautiful faith testimony. Thank you for sharing. Blessings.


    Thanks for sharing Karen. l am thinking of you.
    Blessings


    Dear Karen
    God be with you on your journey to complete health and total healing in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord.
    With love and appreciation for all you are doing.


    Dear Karen,
    Thank you for writing.
    I pray for you in your time of recovery from your illness. May God, who knows all about each hurt and loves you dearly, heal you according to his best plan for you.
    With God’s will, I pray that you will be back into whatever kind of service is best for you.
    Keep praying for God has your best in his plan.


    Dear Karen,
    I hope you are doing better now, and I pray that you will continue to trust a good and loving God, the One Who cares about all of the things in our lives. When I became ill last year with shingles, it was a very difficult time and it continued to give me problems which lasted about seven months! Very little energy and a great deal of pain!! For we who are active, I could count you in that mix, it is difficult to slow down because there is so much to do for our Savior and the time is getting shorter!
    Your choice of the quote of Graham Cooke is very profound, and I plan to keep a copy of it!!
    For Him and precious blessings to you,
    (NV USA)


    Hi Karen,
    What an experience, our prayers are with you during this difficult time for you away from your mission
    Blessings.

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