Steady Goes the Heart

We’ve made it to Frankfurt. Almost home. 

Over the last two days, we’ve tasted and see the Lord’s goodness in the dry, arid landscape of Kruger National Park. We’ve laughed A LOT. We watched the Lion King with the boys, Xolani and Mpumelelo, who had never seen it (to be clear, the 1996 animated version which is in fact, supreme). John gave us the funniest set of notes on the trip I’ve ever heard in my life. (Ask him about it if you see him.) A delight and all joy. 

And yesterday we took a slow, quiet morning, and began that dreadful process of packing the van. I always promise myself, “this is going to be the year I don’t cry.” Update: never works. So we hugged and I cried once again, grieved that this holy moment had come and gone. Never goodbyes, always just “see you real soon.” 

I’ve spent much of my personal year learning about grief. Grief can be a thief of joy, but she can also teach us so much about the fullness of joy. And the Lord teaches us how to grieve well in the Scriptures. He gives us a formula. (I owe much of these ideas to Mark Vroegop, the author of Dark Clouds, Deep Mercy: Discovering the Grace of Lament, highly recommend!) In every Scriptural lament, we see four parts: turning to the Lord, the complaint, the ask, and the trust in the Lord. For example, Psalm 13: 

How Long, O Lord?

To the choirmaster. A Psalm of David.

1 How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever?

    How long will you hide your face from me?

2 How long must I take counsel in my soul

    and have sorrow in my heart all the day?

How long shall my enemy be exalted over me?

3 Consider and answer me, O Lord my God;

    light up my eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death,

4 lest my enemy say, “I have prevailed over him,”

    lest my foes rejoice because I am shaken.

5 But I have trusted in your steadfast love;

    my heart shall rejoice in your salvation.

6 I will sing to the Lord,

    because he has dealt bountifully with me.

Do you see it? That gap between verses four and five? The destination of all laments is trustworthiness in the confidence of God. 

So we lament. Going home is bittersweet. Every. Single. Time. But we learn in to the steady heartbeat of the Lord, we put our confidence in Him, that he will continue this Gospel work. He will continue to bring hope to the Kingdom of Eswatini. He will continue to give the growth. 

“How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, ‘Your God reigns!’” (Isaiah 52:7). 

Thank you for singing our song of lament with us. Join us in the full confidence of the Lord. Wehambe Kahle.