What I dread befalls me ...

Why is light given to a man whose way is hidden, whom God has hedged in?
For my sighing comes instead of my bread, and my groanings are poured out like water.
For the thing that I fear comes upon me, and what I dread befalls me.
I am not at ease, nor am I quiet; I have no rest, but trouble comes. (Job 3:11, 23-26 ESV)

Job breaks his week long silence with a discourse that ends in these words. With intense words he expresses deep disappointment and discouragement. Gone are the religious clich├ęs and platitudes. Job now speaks of being hedged in by God as his groanings are poured out and tears fall like water. I can relate to this sort of heavenly projection. I can remember being so disillusioned when my first wife's heart and kidneys failed as I wondered why God allowed it.

What do you think Job was speaking about when he opined about the thing he feared coming upon him? Consider what Job says six chapters later: "I become afraid of all my suffering, for I know you will not hold me innocent." I can relate to being afraid of future pain and suffering. Knowing that God has not protected you from past pain causes you to be gun-shy about future pain. As Job suffered through the loss of his children his mind had to fear what would come next.

Help us all to not be held captive by past pain. Free us Lord to live in hope.

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