Does the fact that these familiar sentiments are ancient mean the world has gone nowhere - that there has been no progress? One could argue that position and gain quite a footing in times like this - times when violence tears at human lives and at the fragile fabric of hope. If only human goodness received as much air time as human evil, we might not feel so despairing.
At such times as these we want to rail against God, especially if we believe in a powerful God of justice. There is never any justice in acts of violence and terror against innocent beings because such action are evil. I believe the worst evil lies in justification and that people who call upon God or religion to justify acts of violence and oppression commit sacrilege. Such acts would be antithetical to the supremely loving nature of the Divine.
Yesterday when I read these words from Jeremiah I wept, as perhaps millions have since those words were first written. We weep because we recognize wanting healing but feeling terrified, wanting peace but finding no good. For me, the weeping brought relief.
In my work I meet people in great pain who believe it is wrong to be angry with the Divine. The fact that you can find outrage towards God in the bible suggests that is not true. If it were wrong to have and to express such feelings, why would such passages appear in scripture? The Divine is big enough to handle our outrage. Our Creator knows our nature and how it can react to the world as it is.
"We look for peace, but find no good; for a time of healing, but there is terror instead." It's hard to sit with such feelings, but to me it would feel artificial to go too soon to the place of redeeming meaning. So instead, for now, I choose to lament with the ancient prophet. Of course that prophet does not leave things in lamentation but let us not ask too much of ourselves. For now let us mourn. God is big enough to embrace our laments, our broken hearts. I believe God weeps with us at such times. Such actions much break God's heart as well.