Just Don’t Leave Me

In his teaching series on the Biblical tradition of lament, Michael Card tells a story about his friend, Alec, who was paralyzed from the neck down after a collision with a drunk driver in the 1990s.

In his quest to understand the why of it all, Alec struggled through seasons of doubt and confusion, sometimes shaking his fist in anger, other times attempting to bargain for a miracle.

He also spent much time pouring out his heart before God and praying the psalms of lament.

Later, Alec told Michael about a life-changing experience that had taken place.

One afternoon, in the midst of his prayers, he began to experience the presence of Christ in a profound and powerful way.

Of course, Alec already knew (in a theological sense) that Christ is present always in our lives, but this time he experienced Christ’s presence like never before. He could feel it. Jesus was there, in the room, by his side.

Alec said that in response to this experience of the nearness of Christ, his prayer became: “You don’t have to heal me. Just don’t leave me.

This is the nature of lament. Sometimes circumstances don’t work out the way that we want, but we discover that God is present in the midst of our suffering… and his presence is more meaningful than any change of circumstances ever could be.

For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ. (1 Corinthians 1:5)