He went from praising to protesting the longer he suffered.
After all, how much physical and emotional pain and discomfort can one person endure when it seems it just goes on and on and on?
No end in sight.
No answer from the Lord.
No real encouragement from family and friends.
It can begin to feel pretty hopeless.
Like, what’s the point of living? What’s the purpose of it all?
That kind of hopeless.
I guess you could say Job had just had enough.
So he protested.
He was bitter and who could blame him?
But you know what encourages me most?
Job still talked to God.
He still acknowledged his Creator.
If Job couldn’t take his bitterness to the One who gave him breath and formed him with His own hands, then WHO?!? I ask you.
Life is so unfair sometimes.
Bad things happen to good people. This is a heartbreaking fact.
My husband lost his baby brother to heart disease.
My friend lost her house and all she owned to fire.
My father lost a kidney to cancer.
I lost an eye to a rock and a lawn mower.
Job lost it all. All but a contentious wife and unsympathetic friends.
And his very breath.
There’s a season of grief we have to wade through sometimes in this life. Hard things we have to process. Loss of what’s precious we have to let go.
It’s not always a pretty picture.
There may be ugly emotions that rear their heads like anger, resentment, bitterness. Emotions that make our world turn awful dark.
But God knows the heart and He doesn’t want us to stay stuck in those dark places.
And if He knows us so well then He already knows what we’re feeling before we even say it. Releasing it all to Him helps us through the process.
I’ve found in my own experiences that when I’m honest with God about what I’m feeling in the deep, dark places of my heart–when I hold nothing back; the good, the bad, the ugly–I have confidence knowing that even though I may not always feel Him, I know He’s there. And He’s listening.
This knowledge comes to me like a healing balm.
I can take it all to Him knowing He will never turn His back on me no matter how ugly it looks when I pour out my heart.
I think one of the reasons Job could protest, one of the reasons he still talked to God even in his worst grief, was because he knew deep down the only way any of it could make any sense or have any meaning at all was because of Him.
There’s this quote from a popular TV show I used to love that I’ve had tucked away on a post-it note forever:
“Good things happen, bad things happen, inexplicable things happen. But if you give good luck the credit or bad luck the blame you’re not giving God the chance to give them meaning.” -Monica, Touched By An Angel
In Job’s darkest hours, God was his only hope.
He spoke out of a bitter heart.
But he spoke to a purer Heart…
“For God is so wise and so mighty. Who has ever challenged Him successfully?” 9:4
“His great works are too marvelous to understand.” 9:10
“Who am I, that I should try to answer with God or even reason with Him?” 9:14
“God is not mortal like me, so I cannot argue with Him or take Him to trial.” 9:32
“You gave me life and showed me Your unfailing love. My life was preserved by Your care.” 10:12
And therein lies a profound secret…
My life was preserved by Your care.
When all you question about trials, all you fail to understand about hard things, all you resent about the inexplicable in life, you can know what Job knew:
You are still living and breathing because God gives you breath.
He is not done with you yet.
His work in you is not complete.
He has a plan and purpose for your life.
Even in suffering.
Somehow, in all the bitterness and complaining, Job clung to what he knew.
God would continue to give his life meaning.
There would be an end to his suffering.
There would be relief.
There would be an answer from the Lord.
Encouragement from family and friends would come again.
There was hope.
There is always hope.
God wastes nothing.
And your suffering will never be in vain.
“But don’t be angry with yourselves that you did this to me, for God did it. He sent me here ahead of you to preserve your lives.” Genesis 45:5
“And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose for them.” Roman 8:28
Faith, Faith Journey, Faithful Followers, When Bad Things Happen, God Hears, God Sees, God Gives Life