Recently another dear friend of mine was diagnosed with cancer. I was sharing this information with someone who didn’t know yet about our friend’s cancer and her immediate reply was, “O Sweet Jesus.” I smiled when my friend said; “O Sweet Jesus” and I began to think about the most common reply to bad news: O. M. G. As I pondered the reply to bad news, I began to wonder about lamenting and complaining when suffering knocks on the door of our lives. Lament or complain what is the difference between these two responses to suffering? Is one more biblical? Is lamenting Biblical? Here is a great explanation I read in the best seller, “One Thousand Gifts” by Ann Voskamp
“Lamenting is the cry of belief in a good God, a God who has His ear to our hearts, a God who transfigures the ugly into beauty. Complaining is the bitter howl of unbelief in any benevolent God in this moment, a distrust in the love-beat of the Father’s heart. True lament is the bold faith that trusts Perfect Love enough to feel and cry authentic.”
My precious friend who just learned about her cancer said, “I am choosing HOPE (based on Ps.62:5) rather than fear.” This precious friend is refusing the enemies’ lie that God is not good. Instead she is declaring boldly to others that NOTHING CAN SEPARATE HER from the love of God, not even cancer! She is making her cancer a megaphone to proclaim the ultimate goodness of God. She also shared with me that as she awaited the results of her biopsy she knew in her heart that she had cancer and she heard the Lord whisper, “a gift is coming.” Our theories and theology are ‘stillborn, if they don’t take on flesh. I am in awe! Talk about making Jesus look stunning!