I wrote this about the same time as “Rim Rocked” while my emotions were still raw and on the surface. The line “should I be done when I’m ready to succeed” expresses a major wound that still festers. Every so often I have to leave worship early because it’s too painful to be there and not be able to lead God’s people. The other sources of pain remain as well, but day to day life keeps them in the background for the most part.
I adapted these verses from Lamentations as noted. My words are in italics.
2:11 “My eyes fail from weeping,
I am in torment within,
my heart is poured out on the ground
You led me to the edge and I went;
But you have stranded me,
Left me without a way forward,
Reduced me to part time,
Afflicted me with wasting disease,
Without the means to live out my days.
2:20 “Look, O Lord, and consider:
Whom have you ever treated like this?
My children grow up without their father?
Should they have to continue scraping manna off of rocks
Without hope of milk and honey?
Should all my hard won skills and experiences wither away
Without the chance to bring you glory?
Should I be done when I am ready to succeed?
3:4 You have made my voice and my strength grow old;
They evaporate like the moisture of a brief August storm.
5 You have besieged me and surrounded me
with bitterness and hardship.
9 You have barred my way with a bottomless ravine;
You have made my trail vertical, loose shale.
10 Like a grizzly lying in wait,
like a cougar in hiding,
11 You drag me from the trail, mangle me
and leave me without help.
3:16 You have broken my teeth with gravel;
You have trampled me in the dust.
17 I have been deprived of peace;
I have forgotten what prosperity is.
18 So I say, “all that I had hoped from the Lord is gone.”
The Lamenter said: 32 ”Though God brings grief, he will show compassion,
so great is his unfailing love.
33 For he does not willingly bring affliction
or grief to the children of men.”
Where is your compassion in this?
Why afflict my wife and children?
What was my sin that I’m chastised?
Am I so flawed and defective that you can no longer use me?
Why afflict me with lingering death at a time we were so vulnerable, when life was ready to swallow us anyway?
The Lamenter also said: 57 You came near when I called you,
and you said, “Do not fear.”
Well, I fear.
I fear dying an inch at a time;
and being shackled to machines;
I fear being locked up in my head,
Powerless to connect;
I fear being pitied, being helpless.
And being penniless.
I fear leaving my wife and children.
My Job’s-friends all recite, “God has a plan”.
Why does it include this?