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Job's Lament No. 2: Why Was I Born into This?

Published 7/17/19

"Why did I not die at birth, come out from the womb and expire? Why did the knees receive me? Or why the breasts, that I should nurse? For then I would have lain down and been quiet; I would have slept; then I would have been at rest, with kings and counselors of the earth who rebuilt ruins for themselves, or with princes who had gold, who filled their houses with silver.


• How does God bring healing to those who are crushed in spirit?

• Jesus tells us to let go. He can be trusted; He will take care of us. Do you believe this?

• Jesus knows everything about us, and yet He's crazy in love with us. He died for us so we can spend eternity with Him (see 1 John 4:7-16). How does this make you feel?

At one time or another, we've all mouthed Job's desperate pleas.

And, admittedly, we know that our emotions don't always match our grievances--like when we lash out because we don't get our way, or during those moments when we feel inconvenienced. Oh great, the car won't start. And now I'm late dropping off the kids at school. . .and late for work. . .and will probably end up dumping money that I don't have into this stupid piece of junk. My life stinks! Why, Lord--why was I born into this?

But on some occasions our anguish is justified--as in Job's case. He had to endure the unthinkable: loss, destruction, physical pain.

Have you ever met a modern-day Job?

Several years back, I was on assignment for Focus on the Family, writing an article about a burn victim named Brian. He was barely out of his teen years with his whole life ahead of him, yet a fire at his work altered his life.

To keep Brian alive, surgeons had to sacrifice his infected limbs. He endured nineteen surgeries--nearly one per week during his stay at a burn center--as well as multiple skin grafts. The accident left him blind and his body disfigured.

On the day that I interviewed this young man, his mom wheeled him into his family's living room, right next to my chair, and his girlfriend (now his wife) held a straw to his mouth so he could take sips of Coke as we talked. I asked numerous questions; they seemed to roll off my tongue. I was mesmerized by his story. He answered each one--very honestly.

Brian was relaxed, at peace. He smiled a lot and laughed a few times. He shared about how much he loved God and his family. . .and how excited he was about the future.

No bitterness.

No fear.

No worry.

I instantly thought about my own life and the many inconveniences that I complain about. Suddenly, my problems seemed so petty compared with Brian's challenges.

The Psalms have a thing or two to say about God's love for us during hard times:

Psalm 10:17: "You, LORD, hear the desire of the afflicted; you encourage them, and you listen to their cry."

Psalm 23:4 (ESV): "Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me."

Psalm 126:5: "Those who sow with tears will reap with songs of joy."


Lord, restore my hope when life feels so hopeless. Help me to handle life's problems--both big and small. Change my attitude. Amen.


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