What do we do with the sadness and the joy that living in a broken world brings to our lives? Most try to avoid the tears and focus on finding happiness, but does that really work? Denial might help to alleviate pain for the short run, but eventually lament must be faced and expressed. Learning to lament honestly to God is the surprising path to learning about real joy.
When we experience or see tragedy, we expect tears, fear, and sometimes anger, and when we experience the good and pleasant, we expect joy and maybe even laughter. However, laughter and lament are often found together in unexpected places. How can we explain the opposite effect–laughter in the pain and tears in the joy?
Steve Brown shares that speaking honestly about the ways we have been hurt and the ways we have hurt others opens the door to the joy of God’s presence even as we grieve. Instead of pretending that everything is fine, going to God with all of our laments fills us with the freedom and joy of knowing his love and forgiveness. This is the surprising message of freedom that Christians have to share with a world where pain is almost always cursed and laughter is almost always cynical.