Day 18

Job Speaks About His Condition

from the Job reading plan


Job 30:1-31, Job 31:1-40, Psalm 42:4, Matthew 27:45–46

BY Andrea Lucado

As if Job’s suffering isn’t enough, he must now endure the scorn of onlookers, men who spit on him and openly despise him, simply for the suffering that’s befallen him. Worse, these onlookers were once far beneath Job on the social, economic, and moral ladder (Job 30:1). Now, they’re mocking him. Job falls into a unique type of despair caused when you are suffering but those around you are not.

No one was literally spitting on me, but I have certainly experienced scorn for my suffering from those around me. I experience it most on social media. Whenever I see a friend post about something she has that I don’t, but wish I did, I feel the scorn. A husband, a child, another book coming out—posts about these things can strike a sensitive nerve in me, a place that quietly suffers from loneliness, longing, and lack. Because of this, a simple engagement announcement, wedding photo, or book-cover reveal can feel like torture to my heart.

Unlike the wicked men in our reading today, this mocking is completely unintentional on the part of my friends, but it still has the power to deepen my despair, not only because comparison is the thief of joy, but because the voice of the mockers convinces me that I am alone in my suffering. Everyone else’s life seems to be moving along according to plan. Mine is not.

I wonder if Satan sent the mockers to Job, and I wonder if he did so knowing how frail we humans are in the face of loneliness. Suffering is difficult. Suffering alone is unbearable.

Perhaps this would be Job’s tipping point. I would have understood if it was, but Job still cries out to God. It is a despairing cry, but a cry nonetheless: “I cry out to you for help, but You do not answer me” (Job 30:20). His words foreshadow the ultimate cry of despair when Christ hangs on a cross and asks, “My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?” (Matthew 27:46).

Christ suffered. Christ was mocked in that suffering. Christ felt forsaken by God. All of Christ’s work and ministry led to those hours of scorn on the cross. And yet, I continue to sit in my suffering, I look at the thriving lives of those around me, and I convince myself I am alone when the exact opposite is true.

This is why the companionship of Christ and the knowledge of His suffering are so important to hold onto in our darkest times. If we do not listen first to these truths, we will only hear the voices of the mockers telling us we are alone.

But you are not. We are not. Not in this. Not ever. Jesus has cried out on our behalf, and because of Him, we are not forsaken, not abandoned, and never forgotten in our suffering.

 

Post Comments (30)

30 thoughts on "Job Speaks About His Condition"

  1. Monica Davis says:

    Suffering is difficult. Suffering alone is unbearable. But we are never alone!

  2. Brooke Dunham says:

    Thank you so much for your perspective! I actually wrestled with the same social media discouragement this week even though I have all of the things you said you were discouraged about seeing as successes in others! Your reminder to identify with Christ as he was humbled during his crucifixion helps me not to feel so alone in that. The one who has it all can identify with my loneliness and rejection. Thank you Lord for humbling yourself so that I can know that truth!

  3. Beth Hinson says:

    In a season full of changes and new opportunities for me, I feel like any time that something doesn’t go according to my plan that I have failed. I immediately see more of the people who were successful in their journeys and feel the mocking that comes from seeing others be where you want to be. Lord, help me understand that it is your plan and not my own! You will work it towards your good always!

  4. Kris Perez says:

    Even when I don’t get I want, God you are worthy to be praised!

  5. Zandi Mqwathi says:

    I have been recently feeling the gong of the mockers voice and the pounding gong of “stop trying to hard and your best days have passed”. Please pray for me to get a new job and for God to direct my steps in the right direction where his favor and provision abides. I am single mother of two and my contract at work will be coming to an end in 2 months. I have been sending out my resume for job openings to different places with no response or invitation to the interview. I also feel like God has placed a desire to start a business (as a life coach mostly to other single mothers) in my heart although I don’t really know how to go about setting up as yet.

  6. Ashley Perkins says:

    This really resonates with me! I, too, have an inner struggle when I see pictures of friends’ engagements, weddings, new babies: on the one hand, I am genuinely excited for them and rejoice with them in their joy

    1. Ashley Perkins says:

      Oops, I somehow hit “post” on accident.
      Anyway, on the other hand, there is a part of me that feels a deep pain and longing over the reminder of things I desire but don’t even see anywhere on the horizon, and with that, a sense of loneliness. I’ve been fasting from social media for lent this year, and it has been so good for me. I can still rejoice when I hear the good news (a few sweet babies have been born to friends in just the past couple of weeks!), and my heart can take it better than seeing it on social media amongst the many other pictures of others’ highlight reel.

  7. Amanda MarieO'Malley says:

    Even know I feel like I am all alone in my struggle! It’s almost like I am drowning and no one is willing to help. But I know God is giving me the strength to get through, because some days I just want to give up on everything!!!! But God is right there nudging me to keep going, and for that I am so thankful

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