“Lament is how you live between God’s promises and a hard life.” – M. Vroegop,

Dark Clouds, Deep Mercy

This month’s Read Review is a good one, friends. Dark Clouds, Deep Mercy by Mark Vroegop is one of the most challenging studies that I have ever read. It peels back the layers of the most difficult aspect of being human – suffering – and teaches the reader how to accept suffering, how to grieve it, without being consumed by it. The object of the author’s study is the biblical practice of lamenting.

Lamenting is such a crucial topic that God devoted an entire book to a single prophet’s lament in the Old Testament. The prophet Jeremiah’s lament, the book of Lamentations, can teach us a great deal about facing our grief and then turning to face God while still holding that pain in hand. Lament is not to deny that we hurt because of the sin in the world and in our lives, but to seek God through it.

The author says,

“Hurting people are given permission to grieve, but not aimlessly or selfishly. The biblical language of lament is able to redirect weeping people to what is true despite the valley they are walking through.” (pg. 36)

Also, one third of the Psalms are songs of lament. The writers faced intense pain and often injustice. Rather than wallowing in their grief as people are tempted to do, they choose to turn to the Who of God and purposefully declare their faith. The author takes the reader through three of these Psalms, with examples from others, and opens them up to show the original writers’ journey through their grief. 

Personally, I had never heard teaching on the topic of lamenting. The teaching of Scripture that the author opens up and digs into throughout this book was very uncomfortable for me to hear as it challenged a lot of teaching I’ve heard in good, doctrinally sound churches throughout my life. It also challenged the absence of teaching I can see very clearly now as I look back through years of church services and Bible college classes.

Yet, despite these challenges, I found great comfort as I began to understand biblical lament. If you are struggling with grief or know someone who is, I would highly recommend this study to you. The truths you will find here are applicable to all of us, and the author teaches those truths in a very relatable approach.

{You can find Dark Clouds, Deep Mercy by Mark Vroegop on Amazon, Indigo, or at your local bookstore.}

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