I know I said I was “out of town”. . . but I just had to share this excerpt following up on my post from yesterday. It’s from Never Give Up by John Janaro:
Am I grumbling?
I think it is important to distinguish between the grumble and the lament. Both can express themselves as “God, why are you doing this to me?” But they mean two different things. The lament is a prayer; read the Psalms. It is a cry of pain–the pain that a creature feels under the weight of the transforming pressure of the divine Creator and Lover, who carries out his mysterious plan in my life via an incomprehensible suffering. The grumble, on the other hand, is a loss of trust in God motivated by my own misery. It gets me forty more years in the desert–read the book of Exodus. (p.70)
I have both written about and spoken about lament. It really is important to know the difference between a grumble and a lament. If not, we run the risk of either not speaking to God of our troubles, of deciding to just bottle them up deep inside or of running on and on complaining to Him but not really expressing our trust in Him. God wants to be with us in our suffering.
Suffering must be endured not because life is less important than we had hoped but because it is more important than we can imagine. It is the place where God is with us. (p. 52)
We are called to endure suffering not with stoic resignation but with abandonment to his loving presence. We endure in the conviction that God offers us his love–the only fulfillment of the human heart–here and now, in the midst of our sufferings and the plodding of our daily lives. We are called to put our hearts on the line, to allow ourselves to be wounded by the hope that even in this darkness it is possible to love and to be loved, because he is with us and he loves us now. And we know that love–in the end–is always worth the risk. (p. 53)
The abyss is the hollow of the hands of God. (p. 53)