Reading: Psalm 137: 1-9
In our lives we all have experienced loss and suffering to some degree. Sometimes our loss leaves us questioning God and sometimes a tough loss can leave us angry. This is especially true when our loss seems unjust or when we struggle to find any explanation at all.
The Israelites understood the root cause of their defeat at the hands of the Babylonians. They knew their sin and disobedience had brought this upon themselves. Being defeated and carried off into exile was suffering enough. But to have Jerusalem, their beautiful city and the home of God, destroyed was too much. Add to this their local adversaries cheering on the destruction and it was simply too much to bear. Their tears of sorrow turn into tears of rage and vengeance. We too can relate to times of suffering in our lives when that ‘one more thing’ pushes us beyond what we can bear.
In the midst of our own suffering, our grief and sorrow can also turn to anger and rage. It is a natural part of the grieving process to be mad at God. Our lesson from the Israelites is to bring these emotions to God. Into God’s presence is the right place to bring our anger and rage. God expects our honesty and can “handle” anything we bring before the throne. It is only in God that we find the compassion and comfort that can begin to heal what is heavy upon our heart. May we lay all of our burdens and sufferings at the feet of God and enter into God’s loving embrace.