This is when we need to be most diligent in our words, but not Eliphaz. He begins by chastising: “Will you be patient and let me say a word? For who could keep from speaking out?” We are weak as humans and when we see suffering, we get angry. Sometimes lashing out at the folks who we are trying to help, encourage, or lift up. But I love Eliphaz’ next words. I heard them as if I was hearing them for the first time this past week, as if God Himself was trying to reach out and prepare me for the road ahead:
Such sweeter words spoken and i’m sure were a bright spot of sunshine to Job in his unfathomable grief. But then another chastisement: “But now, when trouble strikes, you lose heart. You are terrified when it touches you. Doesn’t your reverences for God give you confidence? Doesn’t your life of integrity give you hope?” Yep. That’s where we are. It is so easy to encourage others in their grief. So easy to encourage others in their strife. So easy to encourage others in their distress. So easy to help them out of trouble. But when we are struck down and feeling lost, alone, and hopeless, it is almost impossible to remember our own faith, the past victories that God has walked us through, the success that we have enjoyed, the faithfulness of God.
I know that Eliphaz and the other friends of Job did not accurately portray God, but they did accurately portray us as humans here on the earth. We are quick to help others and slow to remember that God helps us. We know that everyone cannot do it on their own, but think that we must. So, although Eliphaz’ words were not intelligent or helpful to Job, God used them to remind me that we need to remember His faithfulness in the past as we walk the rough and rocky path ahead. He is with us always and He does know the beginning from the end.
The words of Job have never rung clearer than they do today. we have watched and grieved as others lost jobs, but now we know the fear intimately.
Today i prayed for peace and strength as we walk down the path fearing the unknown. i pray that God would guide us and light our way. i pray that He would give us glimmers of hope and shine thru the darkness in these rough days. i thank Him for His provision, for His love, for His direction, for His comfort, for His people that surround us each day. i prayed for all the ones walking tougher roads that we cannot understand and do not know. i pray for the roads to be made smooth this day, that the rocks would be moved, and that they would have a few more easy steps than they have in the past. i pray for prayers to be answered today! for God to be glorified today! for His love to be so evident today that we could not imagine life without it! Thank you, Lord, for Your everlasting love that we could never understand.