God on Monday
‘O Lord, how long shall I cry for help, and you will not listen? Or cry to you “Violence!” and you will not save?’ (Habakkuk 1.2).
Not all crying is out loud. It is, of course, with babies, both day and night as most new parents know all too well!
For both babies and for adults, not all crying is bad. Yet I have been in situations in which crying has been seen as weakness. It has been stigmatized as a characteristically female emotion that renders whatever I may be trying to say irrational. For men, there can be even more stigma attached to crying.
But crying is not a sign of weakness. It is an entirely normal emotional response, created by God. While it is more often associated with human despair, it can also signal human joy, such as at the beginning of a new life, on hearing good news, or being helped by a random act of kindness. Crying can also be a response to injustice - an expression of righteous anger. At its simplest, crying can be a prayer.
Habakkuk is not afraid to cry in his prayer. He even has the courage to ask God how long he will cry without being heard. Perhaps we can learn from this that God does hear our cries but sometimes his apparent delay in responding to them helps us appreciate our need for God to intervene. Our cries, expressing as they do our vulnerability and reliance, will in time move God to act.
It is tempting to tackle difficult situations in our own strength. But as a parent has the means to ease the cry of their baby, God has the solution to what you are facing, however slow it may seem in coming. Cry out, knowing that God will respond.
In what area of your life have you reached the end of your own wisdom, skills, and expertise? Invite God into that space by crying out to him.
God who always hears us, God who sees and knows us, God who created tears as a way to connect us with others, and to connect us to You, hear the cry of our hearts this day. Amen.
In the Psalms, David often cries out to God. Consider reading a Psalm a day for the next month and reflect on how God responds to the cries of David’s heart.
, Head of Diversity and Inclusion, Tearfund.
God on Monday is produced in partnership with the Church of England. The reflections are based on the scriptural readings designated for the coming Sunday in the Church's lectionary. You can sign up to Faith in Business here to receive each God on Monday instalment.
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