But now trouble comes to you, and you are discouraged;
it strikes you, and you are dismayed.
Should not your piety be your confidence
and your blameless ways your hope?
Job 4:5-6 (NIV)
At times people in pain feel that the sorrow they experience is smothering them. The situation swallows them and they are not able to come up for air. They gasp and choke on the new and painful reality that follows them everywhere. They cannot find a safe place to escape the horrifying detail of their problem.
Then some well-meaning but terribly misguided friend comes along and tries to explain to them how to cope with the issue. Sometimes the person who is suffering will try and accept the misguided advice. Other times the person simply wants the friend to stop talking and leave them alone.
Perhaps today some well-meaning person has sought to help you with foolish advice. Occasionally the unhelpful person will suggest to you that all you need is more faith. “Trust in the Lord, brother.” is their comment. “This trial is the platform from which you can glorify God.”
You wince as you hear about giving God glory in your time of need. You think to yourself that you could wish the privilege of glorifying God through pain had been given to someone else.
You feel the constant pounding against your heart and mind by the questions, “Why me? Why now?” Why does the friend not see that you just wish to be left alone so you can try and wrap your mind around the new and painful reality?
Job prayed to die but lived to suffer another day. He knew that the answers he ran after sped ahead of him. Listen to his cry. Job 3:20-21 (NIV)
“Why is light given to those in misery,
and life to the bitter of soul,
to those who long for death that does not come,
who search for it more than for hidden treasure…”
Life must be lived whether we understand it or not. We must push forward and act as though everything made sense when it does not. We must set ourselves to go on when the feeling of hopelessness surrounds us day and night. Job is our example of a man who endured pain and suffering in spite of the fact that he did not have any answers.
Can you try to live in your situation just for today? Can you push out of your mind thoughts of tomorrow and the suffering it will bring? Just seek strength for today. Leave tomorrow and its cares alone. Try to find your way through the situation just for today.
Always be sure to confess to the Lord how confused and sorrowful you are. Tell Him that you are finding it too much to bear. Cry out to Him for relief, for comfort, for some reason why you continue in this situation. His heart can be touched by your pain.
In my distress I called to the Lord; I cried to my God for help.
From his temple he heard my voice;
my cry came before him, into his ears.
Psalm 18:6 (NIV)