Often, when life’s events break our hearts, we are ashamed of our anger and pain. We apologize for angry words and stifle cries of pain, pushing our hurts out of sight. We try to make peace with ourselves without acknowledging our anger and our tears—somehow these seem unacceptable to us. But they aren’t unacceptable to God.
From the very beginning of the Sacred Scriptures, we find God responding to the cries of his people. In the first pages of Genesis, Cain kills Abel—two brothers, the sons of the first man and woman. In response, God calls out to Cain: “Where is your brother Abel? …What have you done? Listen; your brother’s blood is crying out to me from the ground!” (Gen 4:9–10).
To Moses, God declares of the Israelites enslaved in Egypt, “I have observed the misery of my people who are in Egypt; I have heard their cry on account of their taskmasters. Indeed, I know their sufferings, and I have come down to deliver them” (Ex 3:7–8).
When the Israelites later stand at the Red Sea, with the Egyptians coming up fast behind them, they cr[y] out to the Lord. But Moses answers the people, “Do not be afraid, stand firm, and see the deliverance that the Lord will accomplish for you today…. The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to keep still” (Ex 14:11–14).
God listens, hears, and delivers his people. God is moved when he hears our cries. But Scripture tells us something more. Not only is God moved, God also does something. God saves. God liberates. God frees. God consoles. God acts with power in our best interests.
TIP from My Sisters: Crying out to the Lord is part of praying. Try holding together your tremendous need for God’s help with a confident trust that God will deliver you in his own way and his own time. What is that like?
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