“O Lord, why have you mistreated this people? Why did you ever send me? Since I first came to Pharaoh to speak in your name, he has mistreated this people, and you have done nothing at all to deliver your people.”
In this story, we are given insight into the difference between lamenting and complaining. Lamenting is more about an expression of grief. Complaining is a personal dissatisfaction or annoyance. Lamenting is a positive exercise, while complaining will get us nowhere. In this story, we see Moses lamenting to God about the Hebrew people’s bondage in Egypt. Moses shows us that lamenting is most often directed at God, while complaining is directed at others. He is in grief because he thought his calling would be much easier. He thought it would be quicker. His grief is due to his misunderstanding of his calling. He is grieving his hopes and dreams for the people. Do not be deceived by the difference between lamenting and complaining. Lamenting is an exercise in faithfulness, recognizing that God is good and will tend to our grief. Complaining is an exercise in ingratitude, failing to recognize all of the gifts we have been given. As you reflect on the beginning of this Lenten journey, when have you practiced lamenting? How did it feel different from complaining?
-Rev. Katie Callaway