Expressing Grief

Job 3:1–26

Job’s response to his wife’s suggestion that he curse God and die is magnificent. “You speak as one of the foolish women speaks” (Job 2:10). Hats off to the old patriarch! In his weakened condition, sitting there in the misery of all those sores, not knowing if any of that would ever change, he stood firm—he even reproved her. He said, in effect, “I need to correct the course of this conversation.

There are days too dark for the sufferer to see light. That’s where Job is as we end this chapter. Unfortunately, his so-called friends will not bring him any relief. Like Job, you may not have seen light for a long time either.

There are experiences too extreme for the hurting to maintain hope. When a person drops so low due to inner pain, it’s as if all hope is lost. That’s why Job admits his lack of ease, his absence of peace, and his deep unrest.

There are valleys too deep for the anguished to find relief. It seems, at that point, there is no reason to go on. We run out of places to look to find relief. It’s then that our minds play tricks on us, making us think that not even God cares. Wrong! Do you remember the line that Corrie ten Boom used to quote? I often call it to mind: “There is no pit so deep but that He is not deeper still.” I know, I know. Those who are deeply depressed don’t remember that and can’t reason with it. They would deny such a statement because they feel a vast distance between them and God, and it’s confusing—it’s frightening. But the good news is that God is not only there . . . He cares.

It is noteworthy that there is no blast against Job at the end of chapter 3. God doesn’t say, “Shame on you, Job.” God could handle Job’s words. He understood why he said what he said. He understands you too. Unfortunately, Job has his words on record for preachers to talk about for centuries. Yours and mine, thankfully, will hopefully remain a secret inside our cars, or in the back part of our bedrooms, or along the crashing surf, or perhaps under tall trees in a forest. God can handle it all; so let it all out. Tell Him all that’s in your heart. You never get over grief completely until you express it fully. Job didn’t hold back. And I admire him more now than when I first began the book.

Look up to find the Light.

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Taken from Great Days with the Great Lives by Charles R. Swindoll. Copyright © 2005 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. Used by permission of Thomas Nelson.

Posted in Death and tagged .

Accuracy, clarity, and practicality all describe the Bible-teaching ministry of Charles R. Swindoll. Chuck is the chairman of the board at Insight for Living and the chancellor of Dallas Theological Seminary. Chuck also serves as the senior pastor of Stonebriar Community Church in Frisco, Texas, where he is able to do what he loves most—teach the Bible to willing hearts. His focus on practical Bible application has been heard on the Insight for Living radio broadcast since 1979.