On verses 1-26: Job is now in emotional, physical and spiritual anguish, so much so that he curses the day he was born. In our culture we tend to celebrate people on their birthday. In cursing the day of his birth, Job was basically saying, “After all the trouble and pain I have experienced, I wish I had never lived. I wish I could die right now.” If I had to break it down even more, verses 1 to 20 are Job asking the question, “Why did I have to live?” while verses 21 to 26 are Job asking the question, “Why can’t I die right now?” For Job, death seems to be the only rest he can look forward to (v13-19).
What can we learn from all this?
Notice that Job finally opens up after 7 days of sitting in silence with his friends (see Job 2:13). Imagine if Job’s friends had given up on the 6th day and said, “Job’s never going to talk. Let’s just go.” It shows that when a person is in great pain, you need to give them time to open up. Also, when they finally do open up, don’t be surprised if their words are difficult to hear. There is a good chance, as it was in Job’s case, that the person is still in such great pain that their pain is all they can see or feel, at least for the time being. So be patient with them. This reminds me to thank God for the friends who were there for me in my darkest moments, who patiently sat by my side and listened both to my silence and my complaints.
If you wish you were never born or struggle because you want to die, then you’re not alone. Job felt the same way. If you feel this way now, don’t give up. Just as God was not finished writing Job’s story in Job 3, so God is not finished with your story either. In my most painful moments, I have found that two things really help. The first is having friends who are willing to sit with me and hear me out. Second, when I am in great pain, it helps me to choose an attitude of gratitude. That’s because sometimes your pain will make you want to focus on everything that’s wrong with your life. But when you choose an attitude of gratitude, you will find that, no matter how difficult or painful a situation may be, there are always things to be thankful for. An attitude of gratitude will keep you afloat when all you want to do is sink. It’s no wonder Paul says in 1 Thessalonians 5:18, “give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus”.
Heavenly Father, thank You for the people in my life who patiently sat with me and waited for me to speak when I was in pain, who bore with my pain-filled perspective and waited on me back to health. Thank You for every person reading this GAME sharing and how You are not finished with their story. No matter what their situation is like today, may they choose an attitude of gratitude and experience power and hope to live again as a result. In Jesus’ name, AMEN!