The 7 People of Lamentations

Here’s something I learned last Saturday at the SFC Metro Manila Leader’s Assembly (MMLA). The theme of our community for this year is “My portion is in the Lord, says my soul; therefore I will hope in Him.” (Lamentations 3:24) and everyone’s been talking about this ever since some big things happened in our community. Kuya Cocoi was the worship leader last Saturday, and in the middle of the worship, he talked about the book of Lamentations. Lamentations is a book in the Bible full of just that: lamentations. It’s a long list of complaints that the Israelites (God’s chosen people) to God. Inside this book, Kuya Cocoi gave a list of seven people of Lamentations, and they are:

The Seven People of Lamentations ((To read through the entire explanation, read this entry))
(From SFC MMLA, 5/19/2007)

  1. The Guiltless One
    – those who feel no need to repent
  2. The Stiff-Necked One
    – those who persist in their infidelity/sinfulness
    – they think that their sin is not that serious and fail to think that any sin, no matter how small, blocks God
  3. The Impatient One
    – they repent, but they do not pause to learn the lessons God wants to teach
  4. The Shallow One
    – takes repentance forgranted, keeps on repeating the same sin, undermining repentance
  5. The Comfortable One
    – no problem with obeying God, but cannot appreciate the need to be purified by fire through trials and even persecution
    – to lament is to have a posture where we reflect on the purpose of God.
  6. The Clueless One
    – those who do not understand the concept of command responsibility for collective guilt
    – we are one body in Christ, we are a part of one community and we should not be apathetic.
  7. The One of the Other Side
    – the attackers

What’s even more interesting about this is that even if it classifies the Israelites of the early time, this could very well fit these times. Each of us could be one or two of them. Sometimes we even shift from one kind of person to another.

Who are you among the seven people of Lamentations?

I figured out something last Saturday during the more dramatic part of the SFC MMLA (that’s right after the explanation of the people I listed above). I finally realized something that I have been really afraid of, but I never admitted or mentioned to myself — because everything is supposed to be “okay.”

I am afraid that I will never be able to get out of here.

By “here”, I don’t mean the country. I mean something else. Read between the lines.

It just hit me while I was crying to Pinky that Saturday night: I’m afraid of never being able to get out. Out of my current situation, out of where I am. What if I’m stuck here forever? What if God wants me to stay here even if I am (desperately) wanting out ((Although it has toned down a bit, I can feel it coming back again))? On a larger scale, I’m afraid that all the dreams I’ve been starting to dream are not going to come true. What if after allowing myself to dream big and take risks, and embark on a Great Adventure, I find out that I will never be able to fulfill my dreams?

I now realize why those Disney movies and books make a big deal out of reaching for their dreams — because it is a big deal. There’s nothing more crushing than dreaming of something and realizing that you will never EVER get there. :(

I take one step back and realize this again to myself: I hate disappointment. I hate being disappointed. Who doesn’t? That’s one of the main reasons why I don’t like taking risks, why I waited until I am finally done with school before I started making plans for myself. It’s not about not having direction in life but just being…cautious. And now that I’m finding the courage to dream again, I’m suddenly haunted by the thoughts that what if it’s not meant to be? What if I’m never meant to fulfill them? What if I’m never meant to get out of here?


Pinky was hugging me that night, giving me words that she felt God wanted her to say to me: I feel that God is telling me to tell you to be patient, to trust in Him that He would let His plan unfold for you in His time. I know you feel excited to see His plans, but God’s telling you to be patient and let Him have control. I ended up bawling even more. I find it funny how everytime I start thinking that I’m a patient person, God puts me in a situation that makes me realize I’m not, and makes me want to be more patient.

To answer my question on who I am in the seven people of Lamentations, I don’t think I’m the Impatient One as based from what I mentioned in the previous paragraph (well, right now that is). I think I’m more of the Comfortable One, because the description fits me like a glove: I know I have to obey God, and I don’t have any problem with that thought; it’s just that I ask God to spare me from the troubles. Or, to be more specific, I try to spare myself from the pain of the trials. How? By pretending that everything is okay even when it’s not. By putting up a wall between me and my emotions, sheilding me from the hurt. By sugarcoating — by saying that I am okay, that I’ve learned my lesson, that I don’t feel pain anymore when I really do.

It goes back to me wanting to be in control, which I should’ve let go long ago. But I’m such a hardheaded and weak-hearted human that I keep on failing. I keep on faltering. If I were God, I would’ve given up on me now…

…but thank heavens I’m not. Not God I mean. Because I know I’m a hopeless case. But He believes that I’m not — not without Him, of course.

I know that the only solution to this “dilemma” of mine is to simply trust. Trust that God knows what is good for me, that He will take care of me. Trust that He won’t put a dream in my heart if He has no intention of fulfilling it. Believe that He knows the desires of my heart, and He will give them to me when I’m most ready to accept it.

It’s not easy. Never will be. But by God’s grace, we will get through these things. We meaning me and God. And I will reach my dreams. I will stop being the Comfortable One, and I will embrace the refining fire that God brings in my life. You never said it will be easy, You only said I’d never go alone. ((Thanks, Ginny Owens.))

I feel like I’m ending this entry openly, a bit hanging, and to be honest, I kinda feel that way. But I’m ready Lord. Ready as I’ll ever be. I’m afraid, but You’re big enough. Bring it on. :)

My [daughter], when you come to serve the Lord, prepare yourself for trials. Be sincere of heart and steadfast, undisturbed in time of adversity. Cling to Him, forsake Him not; thus your future will be great. Accept whatever befalls you, in crushing misfortune be patient; for in fire gold is tested, and worthy men in crucible of humiliation. Trust God and He will help you; make straight your ways and hope in Him…study the generations long past and understand, has anyone hoped in the Lord and been disappointed?
– Sirach 2:1-11 (February 21, 2007)

If our hopes seem to be experiencing disappointment righht now, it simply means that they are being purified. Every hope or dream of the human mind will be fulfilled if it is noble and it is of God. But one of the greatest stresses of life is the stress of waiting for God. He brings fulfillment, ‘because you have kept my commandment to persevere.’ (Revelation 3:10)
– Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest (February 22, 2007)

Dear Father, help me to trust in You.