“Behold, I cry out, ‘Violence!’ but I am not answered; I call for help, but there is no justice. He has walled up my way, so that I cannot pass, and he has set darkness upon my paths. He has stripped me from 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.” (Job 19:7-10)
Like Job, the Lord has broken me. He has stripped me of this world and much of it’s comfort and hope. My soul cannot seem to be comforted. Joy has been drowned out by tears, strength has been crushed by the weight of pain and anguish, and trust has been shaken by confusion. I have cried to the Lord, yet his response has been silence. I have pleaded for relief, but instead have received more pain, heartache, and confusion. He is good, but I’m struggling to see it. He loves me, but at the moment, I don’t feel it. I look up from this valley of darkness and that is all that I see – darkness.
My flesh wants a way out – a plan of escape. Yet, he holds me up – one breath at time.
What do we have left in this world when our hopes are dashed, our plans have failed, and pain is our closest friend?
We have a Redeemer.
“For I know that my Redeemer lives, and at 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.” (Job 19:25-27)
He may take everything that we love on this earth – our health, our livelihood, our reputation, those we love, and every last hope that we have in this world. But our Redeemer lives, and he will one day redeem it all.
No, I don’t understand what God is doing, the pain he has allowed, or his silence. Often we don’t.
But may we pound a stake of Spirit-given confidence in the ground when our emotions are filled with despair, our circumstances seem as though God is cruel or not in control, and our faith is hanging on by a fraying thread.
As Job said, “Oh that my words were written! Oh that they were inscribed in a book! Oh that with an iron pen and lead they were engraved in the rock forever. For I know that my Redeemer lives, and at last he will stand upon the earth.” (Job 19:23-25)
When we are broken, stripped, and weary, may these words bear witness to the hope that we have beyond this world. Hope in our Redeemer who came to redeem what has been lost and restore what has been broken. Hope in a Redeemer whose light will cast out all darkness.