Today’s Reading: Job 9-12
Today’s Reflection: Job 10:1-2
1) “I loathe my life; I will give free utterance to my complaint; I will speak in the bitterness of my soul. 2) I will say to God, Do not condemn me; let me know why you contend against me.
Bitterness. Sorrow. Despair. Self-destructive thoughts. All of these characterized large parts of Job’s complaint against God. Yet again and again, Job shows remarkable faith as when he declares of God, “He is wise in heart and mighty in strength” (Job 9:4). This is an incredible statement to make of someone you believe is deliberately allowing you to suffer as Job believed God was doing to him. And the Bible repeatedly says despite his tortured and even disturbing statements, Job did not sin against God with his words (Job 2:10) and that he spoke more truthfully of God than his three friends did (Job 42:7). This should tell us something very important about how God regards our difficult and challenging emotions.
When we go through difficulties, trials and loss, we suffer, we hurt, we feel sorrow, we get depressed, and often we feel anger against the God who could easily have prevented our pain (or so we may think). But at the same time we may feel pressure to put a smile on everything, perhaps by friends, perhaps by spiritual leaders who confuse happiness (an emotion felt when things in life are good) with joy (a state of being rooted in trusting–ideally, trusting in God–whether things are good or not), perhaps we even feel guilt about harboring any negative feelings towards God.
The truth that Job shows us is that God can handle us at our worst. God’s love for us is so big He can take our sadness, our pain, our disappointment, our anger. He can and will work through these things with us. What He can’t work with is dishonesty. If we pretend everything is good with God when it is not, our relationship with Him will be stuck at a stand still. Take everything you have to God in faith and know He is loving and patient enough to sit with you, pick and process through all of your feelings, and bring you out the other side whole and free.