Psalm 55—It Is Good to Lament to a Friend Who Redeems Brokenness

Psalm 55—It Is Good to Lament to a Friend Who Redeems Brokenness

When I was abruptly introduced to loss, my heart resonated with the psalms of lament. Sometimes I couldn’t pray words in the early days; I could only moan. As Mark Vroegop states, “To cry is human, but to lament is Christian.”

“Give ear to my prayer, O God, and hide not yourself from my plea for mercy! Attend to me, and answer me; I am restless in my complaint and I moan…” Psalm 55:1-2

God would have us turn to him, and he invites us to complain to him. We turn to him and ask him to hear us. We plead that he not hide himself from our pleas. After turning and complaining to God, Vroegop explains that we ask of God. We turn our complaining into a request. We do it all—turning, complaining, asking—while completely trusting God.

“…because of the noise of the enemy, because of the oppression of the wicked. For they drop trouble upon me, and in anger they bear a grudge against me. My heart is in anguish within me; the terrors of death have fallen upon me.” Psalm 55:3-4

David gives context and voice to his request. His enemy oppresses and pours trouble and anger upon him. He gives voice to the obvious—his heart is terrorized and in torment. He gets transparent in the presence of God. He confesses his horror and the fear he feels.

David seeks an escape.

“Oh, that I had wings like a dove! I would fly away and be at rest; yes, I would wander far away; I would lodge in the wilderness…” Psalms 55:6-7

Christians are often accused of needing a crutch. Absolutely! In essence, believers recognize their own helpless condition. “For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly” (Romans 5:6). We need the wings of a dove to enable us to escape to rest. We desire to run from the pain. In lament, though, we agree with God that this world is not our home. We long for a new city. We desire shelter from the storm and tumult. We desire that God thwarts those seeking to do evil to us. We know by faith that ruin is their end, but what about right now?

David’s enemy is not an enemy from whom he can escape. His enemy turns out to be his friend.

“But it is you, a man, my equal, my companion, my familiar friend. We used to take sweet counsel together; within God’s house we walked in the throng.” Psalm 55:13-14

Don’t miss this. David is foreshadowing Jesus who was betrayed by a friend. With a kiss no less. Close friends. Sweet counsel. Walked together in common purpose.

But betrayed. Evil dwells in the heart of this professed friend.

Jesus has walked this road of loss, and he endured the sin of the world. Therefore, he can carry my burden, pain, and weariness born of brokenness.

“But I call to God, and the Lord will save me. Evening and morning and at noon I utter my complaint and moan, and he hears my voice. He redeems my soul in safety…” Psalm 55:16-18

Once again, where else would we turn? We call on God and utter our complaint. We lament and mourn, and he gives us his ear. He hears our complaint without offense. He knows brokenness fully—even in His own body. “This is my body, which is given for you” (Luke 22:19). He knows we face brokenness, too. We wage a battle. Many are against us.

Redeemed brokenness is at the heart of the gospel. So, we turn to him. He gives us his ear.

Wearily, we turn to him and offload our very real burden. We know he will uphold us, and he remains faithful. Lament begins with turning to God, transitions to complaining to God, moves to asking from God, but finally rests in trusting in God.

It is good to lament to a friend who redeems brokenness.

“Cast your burden on the Lord, and he will sustain you; he will never permit the righteous to be moved… But I will trust in you.” Psalm 55:22-23


  1. Seth

    A crutch, yes He is so much more for us as we grieve. Thank you for this entry. So rich.

    • D. Ray Davis

      Gracias, Seth, mi amigo.

    • D. Ray Davis

      Praise God, Lynn! Press on.

  2. LF

    So good! Balm and challenge! Keep writing brother!

    • D. Ray Davis

      Thank you, LF! Keep reading!

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