The scripture for July 13 (7/13) is Job 7:13ffin the Old Testament of the Bible:
“When I think my bed will comfort me and my couch will ease my complaint, even then you frighten me with dreams and terrify mewith visions so that I prefer strangling and death, rather than this body of mine. I despise my life; I would not live forever. Let mealone; my days have no meaning.”
Job was extremely depressed. It happens to everyone sometimes. His depression was certainly valid ~ he had lost all his income and all his children in a recent storm. Now he had what is usually translated as “boils” but the symptoms indicate he had a form of leprosy. This particular form leads to nightmares in addition to the physical problems. Job had every right to be depressed. So depressed was he, that he no longer wanted to live, for his life no longer had meaning.
But, as miserable as Job was, he hung on. Patiently he hung on during the bad times. Romans 8:28 says all things work together for good to those who love the Lord. Job loved the Lord. Even in his misery and desire to die, he continued to love God and trust Him.
Sometimes during our bad times, the greatest thing we can do is “hang on” ~ be patient Although at such times you may believe your misery will never end, you may believe you will never even smile again, it will happen. The misery comes to an end. It did for Job. He got his health and income back and more children to comfort him.
The scripture for today, June 11, isJob 6:11 as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:
“What strength do I have, that I should still hope? What prospects that I should be patient?”
Many people use the expression, “patience of Job.” But he had on-and-off patience, for he was very sick. By descriptions he gave of himself ~ sores, rancid breath, low voice, partial blindness, skin turned hard and black, bloating, nightmares, extreme pain, unrecognized by his closest friends, some believe he had a grotesque form of elephantiasis leprosy.
What did he need from his friends? He surely didn’t get it, for they spent their time trying to prove that he had sinned and God was right to be punishing him. His reply? “I have heard many things like these; miserable comforters are you all! Will your long-winded speeches never end? What ails you that you keep on arguing?” (Job 16:2f).
So how do we comfort someone who feels utterly hopeless? We certainly don’t put the blame on them, nor do we tell them it’s “all in your head’ or to “snap out of it”. We can share times when we felt hopeless. We can weep with them. We can hold their hand. We can sit with them in silence. We can pray aloud for them. (Some people have never heard their name mentioned in a prayer.)
And we need to let them talk. Sometimes they will say things they don’t mean in the long run, but at that brief moment, they do. Or sometimes they need to talk through things they are unsure about. They may even say contradictory things.
At one time Job said, “Surely, O God, you have worn me out; you have devastated my entire household….God assails me and tears me in his anger and gnashes his teeth at me” (16:7f). But another time he said, “I know that my Redeemer lives and that in the end, he will stand upon the earth….I myself will see him with my own eyes ~ I and not another. How my heart yearns within me” (19:25f).
If you have a very sick friend, let your heart yearn with them.
The scripture for today, June 18, is 2nd Chronicles 6:18aas found in the Old Testament of the Bible:
“But will God really dwell on earth with men? The heavens, even the highest heavens, cannot contain you.”
Did you ever want to see God, to talk to him face to face? Perhaps something bad had just happened in your life and you had this urge to bawl him out, then let him explain why. Or did you ever want to touch God? Perhaps you were so very lonely that you desperately needed his arms around you, and feel his touch as he brushed away your tears.
But, if we could see him and touch him, it would mean that he could not be with others in the world at that time, and could not hear anyone else’s prayers at that time except yours.
Let us be grateful that we cannot see and touch him for now. He is always available to all of us, regardless of where we are in this vast world and regardless of how many others are praying to him at that moment.
How he can sort out all our prayers at once is mind-boggling. How he can be everywhere at once is amazing.