“I cannot keep from speaking. I must express my anguish. My bitter soul must complain (v. 11).”
Speaking your frustrations aloud, or venting, is one of the keys to healing. And it is one of the hardest things to do. Job waited two weeks before speaking about his anguish and torment. He held in his frustrations and anger for 14 whole days before the volcano erupted. I don’t normally make it to the 14-day mark before I let my feelings explode, but then again, when I finally do let loose, I don’t normally word things as eloquently as Job does, either. In fact, my eruptions normally are full of accusations and threats of mutiny and punishment. But not Job. Even in his anger, he remains thoughtful. He doesn’t accuse, per say, he questions. He angrily questions, yes, but he doesn’t denounce. He doesn’t threaten to cut himself off from God. He questions. Just like many of us, especially these days, Job wanted answers for why his suffering was taking place. And he begins analyzing himself to the absolute core. He becomes his own investigator. But what he finds in this chapter is that he has been doing everything right! His own heart tells him so, and he is confident in that fact. Now, I don’t believe this is the lesson for us. I believe we can all investigate our own hearts and come to the same conclusion as Job did. However, that is just me. Maybe your heart is as pure as Job’s. I hope so, but … I doubt it. Just sayin’. But here’s what I’m also saying: it is BECAUSE of Job’s questioning that we can take his advice and follow his example in processing all the gross stuff that happens in the world, for which we may never, ever, ever know the reasons, until we meet Jesus. And a big piece of Job’s advice is to speak it out (from verse 11). Tell God. Talk to Him. Ask questions. Get effing mad about it. Think if all this would not had happened to Job, and he’d just sat there like a lump on a log feeling sorry for himself and never consulting God in any way. How would God feel? Remember, the story of Job actually is a “competition” of sorts between good and evil, if you will. And the whole point of Job is that good wins. But had Job not turned to God in his anguish, even though he knew God already knew about his problems, then evil would have won because God would have been ignored and discarded from the whole picture. Sometimes, it is in our telling God what He already knows – and acknowledging to Him that we need Him – that we learn the unforgettable lessons that pain and hurt can bring about. God doesn’t care how we question Him. He just cares that we do.
Writing prompt: question
Ask God some questions today in your writing, and see what He reveals to you later on. (You can certainly write about that, too!)