“He has walled up my way, so that I cannot pass,
and he has set darkness upon my paths.
He has stripped from me my glory
and taken the crown from my head.
He breaks me down on every side, and I am gone,
and my hope has he pulled up like a tree.
He has kindled his wrath against me
and counts me as his adversary.
His troops come on together;
they have cast up their siege ramp against me
and encamp around my tent.
“He has put my brothers far from me,
and those who knew me are wholly estranged from me.
My relatives have failed me,
my close friends have forgotten me…
My breath is strange to my wife,
and I am a stench to the children of my own mother.
Even young children despise me;
when I rise they talk against me.
All my intimate friends abhor me,
and those whom I loved have turned against me.
My bones stick to my skin and to my flesh,
and I have escaped by the skin of my teeth…
“For I know that my Redeemer lives,
and at the last he will stand upon the earth.
And after my skin has been thus destroyed,
yet in my flesh I shall see God,
whom I shall see for myself,
and my eyes shall behold, and not another.
My heart faints within me!” Job 19:8-14,17-20,25-27
It’s hard to imagine greater grief and agony than Job’s loss of all his children, livelihood, health, and relationships. Even his wife and closest friends distanced themselves from his prosperous, handsome life gone bereft and ugly. But Job never lost sight of, nor his connection with, his Maker. (Job 1:13-22; 2:7-10)
In turmoil of soul and pain of flesh, Job wrestled with his God. He poured out complaint and begged for the mercy of death, but did not turn his back. To whom else would he go? While he did not understand, he believed. He knew not the reasons for all God had wrought, but he trusted His right to do it. His isolation from all that had been glorious taught the invisible knowing of hidden treasure. The miseries of present life caused hunger for eternal hope. (Job 3:3-4,20-26; 6:8-10; 7:16-19; 9:4-15)
He knew his Redeemer. He knew He lived and reigned with perfect control. He knew he would see Him face to face, healed and whole. He knew, in the thick of the war, that God would stand victorious over suffering and triumphant in purpose. That was enough. His sure hope fed and sustained him in the worst of condemnation and pain. (1 Corinthians 15:54-57; 1 John 3:2; Revelation 19:1-2,6; 21:3-4,22-23)
Oh, that our hearts, when failing, would find such strength in Him! Where are we cracked, broken, alone? Fly to Jesus! What sorrow, bitterness, or pain weighs too heavy to bear? Cling to Jesus! He is the great and perfect Redeemer who lives and ever intercedes on our behalf! Bow before Jesus! He stands ready to save, comfort, and deliver, to redeem every hurt and swallow every pang in victory! He is here, and that day will soon be too! Take heart, take hope! All that He’s broken He will mend in glorious life and joy. (Psalm 73:25-26; Romans 8:31-34)
Lord, in every brokenness may I trust You to repair, in every anguish to console, and every darkness to be glorified in inexhaustible light.