He is not there ... I do not perceive him ...
“Behold, I go forward, but he is not there, and backward, but I do not perceive him; on the left hand when he is working, I do not behold him; he turns to the right hand, but I do not see him. (Job 23:8-9 ESV)
These words are spoken in response to Eliphaz the Temanite who ended his instruction to Job with: "You will make your prayer to him, and he will hear you". Before Eliphaz and his friends showed up the man covered with boils has probably been praying most of his days. Grieving people pray and, in a sense, it is normal to vent deep emotions to God in prayer. The Lord has big shoulders and we should cast our burdens on him. He loves us and cares so much for us.
Yet prayer can sometimes be such a lonely proposition. A grieving person can feel so alone. In these times we so want to know God is there yet we, like Job, "do not perceive him" or feel his presence. In times like these I have found solace in the words of Holy Scripture. Though my prayers do not seem to reach heaven I am comforted by Christ's promise to never leave me or forsake me. In times of darkness I have come to trust what he says more than what I feel.
Come Holy Spirit. You are the Comforter. Help grieving people all over the world to know you are there.