Lamenting for Thanksgiving

I am tired of writing. Mostly because I am tired of this year. I am exhausted from mustering up some silver lining for everything that we've experienced. Thanksgiving is tomorrow, and I truly believed we would be having a wonderful dinner without thinking or talking about coronavirus or politics or virtual learning or hurricanes or fires or whatever else plagues 2020, but we are still in the middle of all of it.

My natural bend is always to smile and find something good from the bad. To put on a happy face, so those around me are encouraged by my faith or positive vibes. Usually, I am ok with this lot in life, but not today.

Today, I want to scream into a pillow and cry. I want to shake my fist at the sky and ask God, "what are You doing, already? When will You end this?"

Here's one of my favorite things about the God we serve: He can handle every bit of my fit. All of the screaming, fist-shaking, and berating. The crying, pouting and doubting. It's not an act of defiance or disrespect. It is a sign of complete humility and reliance. A child is often her worst self with her parents because she knows they are safe, so it is our with Heavenly Father.

We see David cry out regularly to God in Psalms. The book of Lamentations is Jeremiah's mourning of the fall of Jerusalem. The Lord listened to their pleas the same way He lavished in their praise.

What if we just let ourselves grieve for today? Let's lament together the past year and current circumstances into the arms of our Father. Take every question, doubt, and frustration to the foot of the cross and lay it down.

And when the day is through, and you feel your sadness empty, ask Jesus to completely fill you with gratitude as you make your way to the Thanksgiving table tomorrow.

Psalm 13:1-3

O Lord, how long will you forget [us]? Forever?
    How long will you look the other way?
 How long must [we] struggle with anguish in my soul,
    with sorrow in [our] hearts every day?
    How long will [the] enemy have the upper hand
Turn and answer [us], O Lord my God!
    Restore the sparkle to [our] eyes, or [we] will die.

  1. Write it out. Take a piece of paper and write out all of your questions, hurts, and angry thoughts. Then put them somewhere that represents you giving them to God. You can tear them up, burn the paper, whatever allows you the most healing. 
  2. Cry it out. Get your pillow ready and have a good ol’ fashioned cry fest in your room. Keep talking, screaming, crying until you feel you have nothing left. 
  3. Walk it out. Talk a stroll around your neighborhood and have a conversation with Jesus. Talk to Him about all of the disappointments and fears you have. Before you make it home, give Him space to respond in whatever way He speaks to you. 


JL McCarthy

November 24, 2020