"Has not man a hard service upon earth? ...so I am allotted months of emptiness, and nights of misery are apportioned to me... My days are swifter than a runner; they flee away, they see no good."

Job 7:1, 3; Job 9:25, RSV 

 

Do you ever get to feeling like Job? You know what I'm talking about, that feeling that you have an unusually hard lot among your fellow man. Who knows for what reason, but everyone seems to be healthier than you, wealthier than you, and a whole lot happier than you. They have easier jobs and kinder bosses. Their spouses are more understanding and their children are better behaved. 

 

Now, I have to admit that my life has been far more blessed than I deserve - I have never once prayed to God that He give me what I had coming. Still... there are times. As I write this article, it is after a seven day absence due to an illness that has ranged from "I think I can function today" to "I'm going to have to get to feeling some better just to die."

 

Seriously, it has not been quite that bad, but it has been bad enough for me to understand a tiny fraction of what Job was going through when he stated the words you read above. He had lost his children, he had lost his wealth, and then he had been afflicted with one of the most vile ailments ever inflicted upon a human being in the entire history of mankind. When you take that into account, maybe Job was actually speaking with words of restraint.

 

Irregardless of these sad accounts of Job and me, lets get back to your situation - you can understand Job's complaint because you have experienced hard times before. And, when you have, there is nothing worse than having someone else come along and tell you how they know of someone, somewhere, who has it worse. The fact is that when you are having a bad time of it you really don't care about anyone else.

 

At such times you can say, "You betcha", when Job asks if man has a hard service in this life. At such times you can say, "Amen!" when Job states that life is full of months of emptiness and nights of misery. At such times you can respond, "Truer words were never spoken!" in reply to Job's assessment that life is no good and then you die.

 

But if we do these things when life is bad, we might miss out on the beauty of this life that God has gifted us with. It is true that we will experience things that will bring us to our knees from time to time... that's good, because we are now in a better position to pray and thank our Father for all of the joy that He has given us!

 

Life is hard, at times, but the prospects for eternity are always very bright!

 

"Come to Me, all who labor and are heavy-laden, and I will give you rest."

Matthew 11:28, RSV 

 

Today is day five of the 30 day challenge to read through the Old Testament Books of Wisdom, with the reading for today consisting of Job 8-14. May God richly bless your efforts as you seek His will and turn to Him for rest!