EP 140 – LEARNING TO LAMENT
Hey Bootcampers, we hope you’re ready for the next episode. But first check out this webinar from our great sponsor at One Eighty Digital. “Being a Church Your Community Can’t Ignore” Wesley Lewis shares more about the webinar in this video-check it out.
Jimbo and Bob are back with some updates on life and then they get down to the serious business of talking about Lamenting and the necessity of engaging in it when we experience pain and trouble in life. Listen in and follow along and check out the links below for helpful resources.
Lament: “to express sorrow, mourning, or regret for often demonstratively, to mourn, to regret strongly,” and “a crying out in grief, a wailing, dirge, elegy, complaint.”
Monday’s with Mark Clifton – Lamenting
Dare to Hope in God – from the Desiring God Blog
JimBo Stewart: [00:00:00] Here we are back at the bootcamp. Hope you’re ready for the next episode, before we dive in a couple of things, we’ve got to address that are of Supreme importance. Everyone’s on beta breath, awaiting the news, who is the newest Bickford member.
Bob Bickford: Jimbo. I’m happy to say that. we have adopted a puppy. Now. This is a surprise to us. We, we intended, we went to the shelter with a list of adult dogs to adopt because I’m a re planter. I’m a replant or I’m a reclaimer, like let’s redeem a dog that has had some bad years,
JimBo Stewart: Yeah. Every dog you’d sent me up to this point has been, an adult dog.
Bob Bickford: So we, we roll in there on a Saturday and, uh, the place is packed. Volunteers, you know, everywhere. Um, so many folks just there to see dogs. Well, this college girl who’s helping her mom volunteer, walks by with a puppy and Barb sees it and, Long story, short Jimbo. She ends up holding the puppy and we were just inside the door.
She didn’t have [00:01:00] her coat off. It was raining. She didn’t have her purse off. She’s just holding the puppy. And then she, she looks at me with his, you know, with the look that your wife can only give you. And.
JimBo Stewart: yeah.
Bob Bickford: And I knew it was over at that point and it was over. So, you know, we threw away the old dog list, portal dogs.
They may still be in the pound, you know, who knows? We’ll figure it out. I think we are going to adopt another dog at some point. So we’re going to pull for a dog, which has some age, but Jimbo it’s like having a newborn in the house and Daisy, the pup has joined the big bird family. And if you look on my social media, you’ll see your.
JimBo Stewart: Now we’ve got to wait to see if Daisy makes a guest appearance on the podcast today. We’ll we’ll we will hear her in the background. She’s an athlete right now,
but in enrollment.
Bob Bickford: she just got up and stretch. So a Barb is at her last day of preschool and, she laid back down and she’s sleeping now, but she’s as cute as a bug that makes he bites like an alligator. I’ll
JimBo Stewart: man. Well, look, you said, you know, the look like the [00:02:00] look that.
your wife gave you. I I’ve had questions as to whether my wife actually listens to this podcast. but I learned, I learned this week that she does because I got to look, she came to me and she said, you know, you always have. Whatever your baby wants your baby gets.
Right. And that’s what I tell her when she says she wants something. I say, whatever my baby wants, my baby gets. And I, and I just say, yes, right. I said, I said, Yeah,
Yeah. She goes, well, you false advertise to your bootcamp, listeners. You, you tried to sound all big and bold and strong and act like if I asked for a malty poo, you wouldn’t buy it. She said, we both know the truth. If I came to you and told you to buy me a malty poop, you would figure out how to do it. And I said, yes, ma’am whatever. If my baby wants a mothy poo, my baby gets a multi poop. But yeah. So I had to, I had to go on the air and apologize for trying to sound like I’m in charge here.
and like, I have any say in what we buy, [00:03:00] if my wife decides we’re buying them all seafood, it’ll have.
Bob Bickford: well, I would welcome you guys getting a dog. I think, you know, I recommend pups. They’re fun. they’re actually research shows. They’re good for your health and, uh, they, you know, cause you got it exercise and you gotta get out and you gotta
JimBo Stewart: Slow down and slow down, bro.
Slow down. Don’t like now she lessons don’t.
Bob Bickford: yeah. I it’s funny. I um, so my office is upstairs and Barb’s Barb gets ready. And she’s got a routine that she’ll listen to our podcast as she’s getting ready. And so I’m in my office, working listing hurt what? Listening to her, listen to us. And sometimes she laughs and then sometimes she comes in after the podcast is over and says, Hey, uh, I need to talk to you about something.
JimBo Stewart: Yeah, well, good, good. It’s good. It was good to start off a little bit lighthearted. Uh, we’ve got a [00:04:00] heavier topic to hit to today, but before we even get There we do have a word from our sponsor that so graciously provides. Website and web support, 180 digital. they’ve got a webinar coming up on June 7th at 2:00 PM.
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And so check that out. We’ll have a link there June 7th, 2:00 PM, for that. [00:05:00] So I’m glad we started out with some lighthearted fun and a fun little word from our sponsor. Cause we got some heavy things to talk about. and we’re not going to get too detailed into specifics. obviously there is news that has broken recently that is heavy and hard.
but that’s not, it, it seems like it’s all kind of, a lot of things are falling at once. I’ve had a death of some dear influential loved ones in my life recently starting a few weeks ago with one of our podcast guests, Rodney Richardson, a rare design passed away of a rare form of cancer. I’ve mentioned on here before Patty Jharrel, who influenced my life pretty significantly.
When I was in new Orleans, she was a volunteer kind of the lead volunteer of the youth ministry that I led in new Orleans. And she’s the one that I always joke about that showed up and with a three ring binder and the calendar and the, and you know, trying to pin me down on details that my brain was not equipped to compute at that point.
she helped me, I was talking with a friend of hers, at the [00:06:00] funeral this past Saturday. And, she said they were walking and, and she was talking about something that she was frustrated with. And she said, if Jim over here, I know he would do this better because I already fixed him. And, she did, she fixed me.
She raised me. And so, then man, I also got some hard news about my sister. recently has a brain tumor out, ask all of our listeners, please pray for my sister. Her name is Shana. She lives in Conway, Arkansas. She has a baseball size brain tumor that created a seizure. Apparently it’s been growing for about three years and she’s in good spirits.
and we’re hoping. For healing. And she’s got a great neurosurgeon working on a game plan right now, but you add all of that on top of really just a whole lot of other things going on in the world and in our denomination and our hearts are heavy. And I think there’s a temptation when our hearts are heavy to just move on to happy things like puppies.
but. I think there’s wisdom sometimes in just [00:07:00] sitting in the sorrow and lamenting a little bit.
Bob Bickford: I agree, Jimbo what, you know, the common refrain in my culture, in the city where I live, that I used to hear quite often is, and I just, I just want you to be happy, right? I just want you to be happy. Now that translates into a worldview, which doesn’t allow for suffering or pain, but that can be your worldview, but it’s not going to be your reality.
JimBo Stewart: Yeah.
Bob Bickford: Because you’re going to experience suffering and pain. Jesus said in this world, you will have trouble. Right. And so, re planters, there was a, I don’t know if there’s a verse in the Bible for re planters. It’s not in this world. You will have trouble in this world. You have double trouble as a replant or right.
You know, and I was actually talking to a Dom yesterday and he was saying, man, I hurt for by re planters in the mentioned the one who said, he’s a sharp, he’s just a sharp guy. He’s a good leader. He’s been patient,[00:08:00] he’s just been under attack and his wife has been under attack in. The spiritual side of the things that guys we, are, you know, speaking to and people we’re speaking to and the ministry is already hard.
And then you throw on top of that personal stuff with marriage or with kids, or with health or issues with parents or whatever, maybe they, maybe they struggle with depression and all those sorts of things. And so, life just want to say this, if you haven’t noticed that if you haven’t experienced it, life can really be difficult.
And so. One of the good gifts that we have is from the Lord is a range of emotions that allows us to connect our emotions with what’s really happening, not what we want to happen. Right. And so I know in my own life Jimbo, when I want, when my expectation is that life is going to be easier and instead life is different.
There’s a disconnecting, what I want and desire and what I experienced. And so that throws me into an emotional place where I need a way out of there. [00:09:00] Right. And so I think lament is w is the way out. It’s the road out, right? It is, is the opportunity for us to connect with and give voice to what we’re feeling as a prayerful expression to the.
That helps us find our way out of the difficult and dark places.
JimBo Stewart: Yeah. just avoiding your emotions is never a good idea. I firmly believe that either we intentionally. Take hold of our emotions and process them, or they will come out on their own. In their own way. And it’ll most likely be at an inconvenient time and possibly even in inappropriate behavior. when we don’t process things, when we don’t deal with and sit with and take to the Lord and lament, and we just try to like push it away and move on.
man, it, takes a toll. On us eventually. And, sometimes it can lead into outburst of [00:10:00] anger or deep grief or maybe if you have struggles with addictions or habitual sins, you may run to those things to try to numb your pain in those times, whether that even just be something like food or, laziness or pornography or something like that.
And, and you, you have these, or you have. Kind of synopsis built in your brain of how you’ve learned to cope and numb pain. And you run to those rather than sitting. And so lamenting on purpose. our fearless leader, mark Clifton on the most recent Mondays with mark, which we can link in the show notes as well talked about lamenting.
We had already planned to make this episode about lamenting, but he did that as well. And I imagine others will as well. one of the things he said. When do we choose to lament lament? So sit in and, and process in a godly way. it gets our mind off of just ourselves and our pain and it gets our minds [00:11:00] on, God and others and their hurt.
And it puts our mind, I think, in a right perspective.
Bob Bickford: there’s something that happens in our brains and in our spirits when we actually give voice. To what we’re feeling. And so one things I would say to the listeners, if you have never given voice to, through a prevalent. The struggles and the pain and the sorrow and the brokenness and the anguish and the anger and the disappointment, all those things that you feel in the season of where things are hard, if you’ve never given voice to those in prayer, if you’ve never written them down, like in a journal, like a prayer journal,
JimBo Stewart: Yeah.
Bob Bickford: you’re keeping something inside that is meant to be expressed outward.
That does a couple of things. I think mark mentioned this one, is it, it declares your dependence upon God clears that firstly declares the difficult facts of what you’re going through. Right. Then declare [00:12:00] it brings you a place to where you declare your dependence or your need for help from God. And then it also gives you a way to disengage from just being so trapped in your.
JimBo Stewart: Yeah,
Bob Bickford: Right. One thing is if you study the Psalms, you always see particularly the Psalms of lament. There are here’s all the bad things are happening, but then there’s a turn and somewhere in the Psalm, in the middle or towards the latter part of the slump, but you all Lord are faithful, but you are, Lord are good, but you will not leave me.
Right. All these sorts of things. And so the Psalmus is in essence, getting out the, emotions and the bad things that he feels in always fundamentally returning to the Lord and finding true. That God is able, God is present. God is faithful. God will judge all of those sorts of things. And I think we have to remind ourselves of those, but I’ll be honest.
There are seasons when I just find myself kind of in an emotional space [00:13:00] where I’m not engaging with the Lord through Lamont and I’m just in a really bad place and stay in a really bad place until I fully enter into. An expression through prayer, through writing to get that, to get my pain out
JimBo Stewart: Yeah.
Bob Bickford: to declare before the Lord.
JimBo Stewart: Yeah, One of my go-to passages for this is the book of Habakkuk. it is a, it’s a song of lament, of going through hard times. And it ends, I mean, after, after going through just lots of difficulty. and I preached a series through this a couple of years ago and I, and it’s just like so many of the songs that the limit, the lament Psalms, it ends with rejoicing and.
And so after, after processing the grief and after voicing out loud or journaling, the things that are going on, which is there, if you study the brain, I mean, there’s so much that that does to bring clarity, enclosure in your brain. After that in chapter three, 17 or [00:14:00] 19 Habakkuk, it says though the fig tree should not be.
Nor fruit be on the vines, the produce of the olive fail and the fields yield, no food, the flock be cut off from the field and there’d be no herd in the stalls. In other words, if like everything goes in the worst Constable scenario, like if it’s just go so bad that we don’t even have food, like we got nothing, like it’s all gone.
Bob Bickford: Yeah, well, dude, we’re, I mean, we’re there like, think about the formula stuff with moms and babies and the shortage shortages, like we’re we’re there. This is like job level
JimBo Stewart: Yeah.
So he’s going though. Everything is horrible versus me team yet. I will rejoice in the Lord. I will take joy in the God of my salvation. God, the Lord is my strength. He makes my feet like the deers. He makes me tread on high places. Okay. That’s that’s not easy, but here’s what struck me when I was studying Habakkuk.
That’s not the [00:15:00] beginning of the book of Habakkuk. That’s the end. That’s the final verses. And I also don’t think it’s appropriate to just go, well, Romans 8, 28, God works all things to the good right. let’s get there, but let’s not start there. And we recognize that the good and Romans 8 28 is, is not our convenience or comfort.
Right. The good there is our sanctification. And so, yeah, man, there’s a lot of hard stuff going on and, and maybe, maybe the hard stuff going on in your life listener is nothing we’ve even listed right now. Right. But you’ve got your own personal stuff. That’s just really hard right now, man. I would highly encourage you, like say it out loud to the Lord or journal it.
Like, even if you’re not a journaler, I’m not a journaler until my emotions get to a point, like when my emotions get to a point, I feel like, all right, I’ve got to, [00:16:00] I got to get this out in a way. And, and so I’ll just sit and I’ll pen and paper and I’ll journal it out. And just make sure you’re taken to the Lord.
Be honest with him. It’s one of the things I love about the Psalms is that the Samas don’t hold back. but make sure you land with yet. I will rejoice in the Lord. I will take joy in the God of my salvation. God, the Lord is my strength. And not just saying it, but keep journaling, keep processing, keep talking to the Lord until you’re until you’re there until you’re at that place.
That the Lord really is your strength.
Bob Bickford: So good man. That, That, is so true. We were going to have the sorrow, the pain, the devastation. And despair is going to make its way out somewhere. Right. And so man, we just started being, I would reiterate do that through prayer, do that through journaling and journaling really is prayer, prayer while you’re writing.
So I think that’s, that’s important. I think too, when we think of lament, there’s a corporate, nature to lamenting as a people or as a group. And [00:17:00] in particular, I think we, we find ourselves in one of those moments with our, our tribe, our denomination, with some of the things we’re experiencing. And I was dialoguing about that with one of my good friends and he’s just a super good friend, a good mentor to me.
And he directed me to Daniel nine, which is this long prayer of lament of, heartbroken this over the corporate sin of Israel. And also. The devastation and the judgment of God and the hard things that have happened to them because of that corporate sin. And, and so in some regards, there may be some times where you find yourself in a church or you’re replanting a church that has had some kind of thing in its past.
And it’s in a condition where it’s devastated, right? And the church has diminished and the people are heartbroken and they may not have that. How to a lament over that, right? Maybe the forced term terminated a pastor without cause [00:18:00] maybe they had a split or maybe that comes some kind of other scandal that took place in that church.
Maybe they, something happened and they, you know, there was a huge offense with the community. And so one of the things w in terms of corporate responsibility, people and groups, churches denomination, not everyone within those things that I just mentioned is guilty of a specific set. Like they’re not all guilty of this one sin.
Right. But a number of them are, and there’s this situation then when by affiliation, there’s this corporate guilt, right. Individually, I’m not responsible for this, but corporate. We bear the brunt of the consequences of this. And I think in particular, we find ourselves in our tribe and in a season like that.
So, man, I would just struck the listeners to Daniel chapter nine, to walk through some of those verses, to think about that. Cause Daniel expresses the, the corporate nature of sin before [00:19:00] the Lord and the devastation and the judgment, but he also understands and has attorney. Where he simply prays that God would come and deal with, according to his righteousness, right?
So the end of the Psalm or the end of this passage in Daniel chapter nine, he just prays. And he says in verse 18, oh my God. Incline your ear and hear open your ears to see our desolate. And the city that is called by your name. And I love this. He says this for, we did not present our police before you, because of our righteousness, but because of your great mercy, uh, Lord here in, oh Lord forgive.
Oh, Lord pay attention in it. Do not delay for your own, say, oh my God, because your city and your people are called. Right. So he’s praying and asking that God would move and that God would, just that God would just work and that he would come [00:20:00] again. And so the working of the Lord, sometimes he’s in discipline and sometimes it’s in judgment in order that he might redeem his people.
And so one of the things we’ve always seen throughout scriptures is where their sins, there’s always a sacrifice. Right. And in the old Testament, there was a sacrificial system and, there, there was a consequence man. There was a consequence to the people for, they had to bring their own sacrifice. So they’ll do all that in the new Testament, we see the Christ bore the pain and the guilt and the weight of our sin and hate is our sacrifice that makes us whole and redeemed.
And so, in a, in a season of corporate, difficulty in corporate struggle with. you’re part of a group that has, you know, some in the group have really gone astray. It’s time to eliminate corporately and ask the Lord to move and to do his work and to, and to have that posture towards the outsiders who are looking in, with critical eyes to simply say, yeah, we have as a, as a tribe, we have, done [00:21:00]some things.
Some things have happened that are. According to God’s word and we are grieved about it. And we are asking God to come and move and do what he needs to do.
JimBo Stewart: I think it’s also important to not look at this with self-righteousness. but to say that there, but by the grace of God go, I, and when we have moments like this, there can be a temptation to villainize people. And I think that that’s dangerous.
JimBo Stewart: Because it removes ourselves from the situation and it, in that phrase, I love that you even used before third-parties them.
Right. And, and here I have a practice. That’s not a fun practice, but it’s served me well. When, I hear of someone in spiritual leadership falling from grace. I, do a couple things.
I look at it and I asked the Lord, are there any patterns in their life that led to this fall that are also in my life?
I need to be aware of. Are there, is there [00:22:00] anything I’m seeing there that I go, man, I haven’t done what they’ve done, but are there any patterns in their behavior that led to this that I need to be cautious? In my own life. And if I know the person, and I’ve done this multiple times, I will literally call them and say, Hey, can we sit down?
And unfortunately I’ve known a pretty decent number of people who have fallen from grace probably 15 or so. And every time I ask them to lunch or coffee or something, and I’ll say, I have two agendas, one to let you know that I love you. And Jesus loves you too, man. That doesn’t change too, is to learn from you.
And I want to learn, I don’t, I have no interest in doing nitty gritty details of what happened. I’m not asking that I’m not asking for gossip. I’m not asking for any of those things. I’m not interested in that. Here’s what I want to know. What are those patterns of behavior that, that led to this being a possibility?
Like what, how did we get to the place where this could happen? And here’s some of the patterns that I’ve heard [00:23:00] in 15 or so conversations like that, one, every one of them in one way or another has communicated that they were leading in ministry in their own strengths and their competency. Not there. But just in their skill, right?
Not in pure heart, but in skillful hands and Psalm 78, 2 says the shepherd them with a pure heart and skillful hands. And there’s a necessity to have both of those. so they’re leading out of their own strength, just out of their own natural gifting. too, they were only studying God’s word for the purpose of.
Bob Bickford: Yeah.
JimBo Stewart: They, they were not just getting into God’s word to feed their soul. number three, they either had no accountability or a false veneer of accountable. Where there was where they could say, oh, I met with Bob every week and we held each other accountable, but really all we did was go, Hey man, how’s your week going?
Right. There was no real deep vulnerability and accountability there. [00:24:00] And then one of the ones is that almost every one of them told me that they have said publicly, if they were going to fall, it would never be in that way. and so those are just lessons I’ve tried to. And so I try to practice consistently studying God’s word for the benefit of my own soul and sanctification. I try to practice, making sure, uh, I’m not leading just out of my own natural gifting, but out of the leading of the holy. And, and his strength and, in my walk, and I’m also trying to learn, to have vulnerability with people, real vulnerability, and accountability with people.
And then it never be so arrogant to think that that couldn’t be me
there, but by the grace of God, go, I
Bob Bickford: Yeah. I think if you are tempted in a season or situation where you find someone or a group doing, or having done some things that you would say, man, I would never, ever could never, you need to be wise like [00:25:00] that and, and think through, man, that might be me. That could be me. That could be us. how, what do we need to learn?
How do we not go there? and so I think that’s some really good counsel. And I would just say to, to the listeners who are struggling may have lament, I would say to, to the leaders who are folks that are listening, that are looking at the situation around them, where people around them or groups around them, they were going, I’m angry.
I’m frustrated, lament. And then I would also say, just realize that there’s probably some things in your own life that you should be lamenting about, that you might not be. Right. and so, just, get some time with the Lord, be, The, uh, available to his word, to his spirit and manta to think through what’s going on in your life and, let him drive you to a place of, honesty and clarity and openness beforehand, so that you could be fulfilled or used to be healed and then filled with the spirit.
And then you can move forward.
JimBo Stewart: first Timothy four 16, keep a close [00:26:00] watch on yourself and on the team. Persistent missed for by so doing, you will save both yourself and your hearers lament and learn brothers.