The arrows of the Almighty are in me ...

For the arrows of the Almighty are in me; my spirit drinks their poison; the terrors of God are arrayed against me. (6:4)
“He who withholds kindness from a friend forsakes the fear of the Almighty. (6:14)
For you have now become nothing; you see my calamity and are afraid. (6:21)
When I lie down I say, ‘When shall I arise?’ But the night is long, and I am full of tossing till the dawn. (7:4)
“Remember that my life is a breath; my eye will never again see good. (7:7)
I loathe my life; I would not live forever. Leave me alone, for my days are a breath. What is man, that you make so much of him, and that you set your heart on him, visit him every morning and test him every moment? (7:16-18)

The middle phases of grief are generally described as anger, bargaining and depression. In his two chapter response to Eliphaz we see all of these aspects come to bear. Job's dialog seems to rock back and forth - sometimes it is clear that he is speaking to his companions yet often he seems to be addressing God directly. Can you not sense the extreme anguish of grief as he speaks. Does not your heart break for him? Can you relate to being in such agony?

In his book "A Grief Observed" noted author CS Lewis writes about his experiences grieving the death of his wife. He writes: “No one ever told me that grief felt so like fear.” As blessed denial makes way for intense emotions Job experiences anger, bargaining and depression. These feelings take you by surprise and scare you. You wonder if you will ever be "normal" again. You wonder if God is what you imagined him to be or if you have been wrong about him.

Help those who grieve today Lord. Help them to know that you hear their cries and you understand their pain.

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