8/27/15

Hurt and Hope and Honesty

"Though he (God) slay me, I will hope in him; yet I will argue my ways to his face."                      
                                   -Job (from Job 13:15)

If you have been a believer in Christ very long, you have been there -- that place of pain. It is perhaps most difficult to love God in that moment. You often wonder if he still loves you at all. After all, if he loved you, would he not take that pain away?

As bad as your pain is, Job almost certainly had greater pain than yours. All of his belongings were taken from him. He went from rich to poor in an instant. All of his 10 children died. He went from a large family to a small one in an instant. Incredibly painful sores broke out all over his body. He went from healthy to painfully sick in an instant. All of this pain seemed to pour upon him so very quickly. He sat in anguish of heart and pain of body for days, asking the same questions we ask of God so often.

"Why?"

"Can you take away the pain?"

"If not, can you just kill me and get it over with?"

His friends started in on Job soon after that, too. They insisted that he brought this on himself. Job insisted that they did not know what they were talking about. Although he was not perfect, he certainly did nothing to deserve THIS. In the middle of these debates with his "friends," Job says something that helps us today in our pain.

"Even if God kills me, I will still have hope in Him. But I'm also going to let God know just how much pain I am in right now!!"

I take heart from Job's honesty. I take heart from the fact that he does not lose hope. He feels deep pain, but at the same time, he believes that God is still with him. He hurts, and he hopes simultaneously. Even if the worst were to happen -- even if Job were to die -- he still believed that God would be with him.

He also is hurting too deeply not to let God know all about it. God is big enough to take our loud complaints, to allow us our need to yell about our pain to anyone who will listen. He does not draw away. He leans in close to us, and whispers to us that he knows what it feels like and that he cares about our pain.

Job probably never fully realized why he had to hurt so badly. Yet his pain had a purpose, and Job hoped in God while he was hurting. If you are hurting, tell God about it. Yell about it if you need to. But do not doubt for a second that he has gone anywhere. He is with you, and he may not take away your pain, but you can trust that he has a purpose for you and for your pain.

HURT (though he slay me)

HOPE (I will hope in him)

HONESTY (yet I will argue)