How honest are you with God? How often do you speak to God exactly how you are feeling? In this chapter Job really let’s loose on God. He tells it like he feels it.
Here are some thoughts about this chapter:
1. Sometimes even good people can feel miserable. Notice the first words of the chapter. Job says, “I loathe my very life, therefore I will give free rein to my complaint and speak out in the bitterness of my soul.” Job had lost everything. He was sick and in pain. And, he hadn’t done anything wrong. In your life, you will experience pain and suffering. That comes with the territory. In those moments, take comfort to know that a) it is not necessarily a punishment, b) you are not alone in your pain, and others have traveled the road before.
2. It is OK to verbalize your emotions to God. God did not reach down and smack Job for speaking the way he did. His friends scolded him for it, that’s true. God ultimately set him straight in his thinking, yes. But, in the moment, God allowed Job to vent his frustration and pain. God is big enough and strong enough to handle all of our emotions. He invites us to unload our burden on Him. Sometimes this process is the cathartic healing that we need.
3. It is even OK to doubt God in moments of pain and suffering. Job said in v. 18, “why then did you bring me out of the womb.” To paraphrase the section, Job is saying, “God, you are almighty and powerful and formed me and control everything. Did you make me just to watch me suffer? That seems a little sick to me. Is this really what it’s all about?” If we could be honest with ourselves, how many times have we entertained this idea in the back of our minds but been afraid to verbalize it in fear that we might get struck by lightening? Job laid it all out before God—pain, suffering, doubts, and all.
In today’s reading there is no quick fix at the end. Chapter 10 is just a sampling of many, many chapters where Job is wrestling with his notions about God’s goodness in the light of seemingly pointless and arbitrary suffering. Next week we will deal more with the answers to these questions. For now, the point is this…be honest with God. If you are in pain and hurting and don’t have rational answers for the stuff that is happening in your life, don’t let it keep you from talking to God. Bring all that gunk to God, He can take it. The first step to healing is to admit that the majority of life is pretty messed up and the world we live in is a complex set of tangled circumstances that don’t always make sense. When we admit it and bring the tangled mess to God, and don’t try to hide from Him the fact that we are confused (like we could hide it from Him anyway) then He can come alongside us and help us to begin untangling the mess, little by little, piece by piece.