Job Cries Out to God

“Therefore I will not keep silent; I will speak out in the anguish of my spirit, I will complain in the bitterness of my soul.” Job 7:11 (NIV)

The raw humanity of Job is revealed in Job 7. Up until now we’ve seen Job esteemed as a man of great faith and integrity, but his words here seem contrary to what we would expect from a person of such strong character. Job’s words aren’t stoic or strengthening. Instead, he is brutally honest about the seeming futility of his life. 

He can’t eat. He can’t sleep. He is discouraged and feels like a weary worker who never receives any pay. His days, though filled with relentless toiling, end empty with no sense of achievement. His pain – both physical and emotional – is so intense that insomnia and reoccurring nightmares plague his tattered soul. 

Job can’t find comfort or relief … he is losing hope … he is struggling … his strength is deficient … he feels forsaken … and his very existence seems loathsome. It’s as if Job has been given a one-way ticket headed nowhere. And all the long nights of misery and all the physical, relational and emotional torment has taken its toll and left him confused. 

Job knows God is the ultimate authority over all. He knows God sees him, watches over him and is totally mindful of his intense suffering. Job also knows God has the authority to stop it at any time. And Job repeatedly pleads with God to intercede and do something even if it means death, because death would be a welcomed change. (Job 6:8-10Job 7:15Job 7:20-21

Job isn’t blaming or condemning God. He is surrendered to Him. But Job doesn’t understand why God has made him the target of such suffering. 

Have you ever wrestled with why questions like these: Why so much pain and heartache? Why doesn’t God intervene and do something? Why me? What is all this suffering accomplishing? Will this deep ache in my soul ever end? Apparently, Job wrestled with many why questions, too. 

So what is impressive about Job?

Job doesn’t try to appear strong or brave or gloss over his pain by replying, “I’m fine,” like so many, myself included, are prone to do. Nor does he attempt to be some spiritual giant by suffering stoically in silence. He speaks up. He cries out. He owns and confesses his intense thoughts and emotions. 

Job is transparent and truthful. In response to his pain, he openly pours his heart out before God and reveals his anguish in very vivid terms. Job knows how to lament. He is not afraid to grapple with his pain and articulate his suffering by putting it into words — words a desperately hurting world can relate to. 

When we are struggling and battling deep in the depths of our souls, Job’s words give us a language of lament. Job helps us see it’s okay to be truthful and vulnerable about our pain before God. It takes humility to be this completely honest about our struggles, but when we are, we can be assured God will respond to our searching cries. (Psalm 34:4Matthew 7:7-8Jeremiah 29:13)

Living authentically has unimaginable power. When we wrestle with the perplexities of life … openly and honestly before God … it places us in the position to be amazed by God. I’m constantly amazed when He responds to my heart’s cry in a real way. Moments when He brings clarity, wisdom or understanding in the midst of our confusion or difficulty. Moments when the light bulb will click on in our hearts or His Word leaps off the page and speaks right to our struggle. Moments when we glimpse His glory in some tiny detail — and we will know it’s from Him because we have shared the details of our struggle intimately with Him. 

It’s in those moments when we will have our faith strengthened and experience the sweetest assurance of His tender care for us. When we put our pain into words and learn to genuinely express our hearts to God, He points us step by step down the path toward discovering truth. Truth about God and His character. Truth about ourselves. Truth about His unfailing Word and His grand plan. 

Are you in the middle of a soul-crushing season that has your heart reeling with pain? Why not begin honestly expressing your heart to God today? 

Prayer: Lord God, You alone have the power to heal our wounded souls. You are sovereign over every situation and You see every single heart that is hurting. Lord, You are the watcher of mankind and nothing and no one escapes Your notice. Help us rely on You in our misery. May our affliction move us to the holy activity of pouring out our pain to You. Teach us the beauty of the language of lament and give us the courage to be honest in Your presence and pray bold prayers. In Jesus’ name, amen.


“To God belong wisdom and power; counsel and understanding are his.” Job 12:13 (NIV)

Affirming the Greatness of God

Ridicule. Scorn. Reproach. Contempt.

Have you ever been wounded by the false accusations or an unfounded allegation of a friend? Or mocked and misunderstood by someone you love and trust?

Job was a godly man who was riddled with pain. All the while his friends kept insisting some secret sin must be the cause of all his suffering. Basically, they told him to stop being so stubborn and repent of his sin.

Their well-intended words left Job feeling like a laughingstock. Wincing with pain, Job’s immediate response was raw and sarcastic. After the rebuke of his friends, Job calls out their feeble attempts to make everything neat and tidy.

Even though Job’s friends were only trying to help, their ridiculing words only inflicted more pain. It’s so easy to slip into the trap of pointing a finger at sin instead of extending a helping hand to people in pain. Scornful speculations poured out on an individual who is struggling can sting like salt to a heart that is deeply wounded. Further, Job’s friends oversimplify his suffering, making it completely his fault and insisting he has the ability to end it by repenting.

Job reminds his friends that this world is broken and life isn’t always so clear-cut. The unrighteous sleep securely. Justice is perverted. This world’s system is cruel, ineffective and unfair.

But Job doesn’t give up on God or cave under the critical eye of others. Instead, Job begins to respond with truth, and the truth Job knows is based on the character of God.

In his rebuttal, Job focuses on the sovereign power of God to control circumstances, defy men, manipulate nature, confound the prideful and foolish, silence the eloquent and defy worldly authorities. God brings darkness to light and establishes or destroys the nations. God rules and overrules. In short, God is in charge of it all.

Job rightly understands that all wisdom, power and authority belong to God and His power is far superior to anyone and anything. Without a doubt, when our lives and our circumstances turn upside down, we can always trust that God is in control. Nothing in the universe happens, and nothing can touch your life or mine, except by God’s permission and is filtered through His hands.

If, like Job’s friends, we constantly try to reason with ourselves in an effort to assign or find a clear-cut answer to every problem, we miss the magnitude of God’s character. (Romans 11:33Psalm 139:6) Job’s appeal and our hope is to go back to what is true about God. When this world doesn’t make sense, and it often won’t, what gives us peace and security is the unlimited, all-powerful nature of God.

Understanding the sovereignty of God brings sanity to this crazy world. And even when we are ridiculed and scorned, we can still give thanks because our God is in charge. The next time your situation starts to spiral out of control, or you feel the sting of scorn, may Job encourage you to stop and take a few moments to affirm and recite out loud the greatness of our God. (Psalm 113:4-7)

Prayer: Almighty God, You alone have absolute sovereignty over the affairs of life. You are God Most High, and You stand in the shadows ruling and overruling all things. There is nothing outside the scope of Your limitless power. Any weakness, difficulty or need we face presents no problem for You. So just as Job has done, help us to focus our attention on You and trust Your mercy and might in the dark and messy places of our lives today. In Jesus’ name, amen.


“Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.” Hebrews 12:3 (NIV)

Have you ever felt physically and emotionally stretched to the point where you were unsure how much more you could endure? Maybe you are overwhelmed right now, and you have no enthusiasm or energy left?

That is exactly how the Jewish believers who received this book of Hebrews were feeling. They were growing weary. They wanted to give up. Their life of faith was hard, and it was a struggle. Their hearts were faint, and they were tempted to quit.

The writer of Hebrews compares their life of faith to a race and encourages them to keep going even though it’s difficult. He pleads with them not to quit. 

Just like these early Christians, God has set before each of us our own race of faith that we must run. It's not a quick sprint or an easy jog to the finish line. It is more like a marathon. And it will require intense strength, commitment, sacrifice, and discipline. Our lives of faith and mine will require real endurance.

Endurance is the ability to bear prolonged hardship. It is the determination to keep moving forward at a steady, unyielding pace.

We will never make it to the finish line on our own. We cannot do it in our own strength. We must “[fix] our eyes on Jesus” and keep our focus on Him. He is the “pioneer and perfecter of [our] faith” (Hebrews 12:2.) He is The One who originates and perfects our faith. As we trust in Him, He will infuse us with the strength and encouragement we need to endure. (Philippians 4:13)

Every time you or I start to grow weary and feel discouraged we need to stop and “Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary or lose heart” (Hebrews 12:3).

The word “consider” in the original language means to add up or calculate. So let’s take a minute to add up what Jesus has endured for you and me.

He endured unimaginable shame and suffering. He endured tremendous hostility and rejection. He was mocked, scorned, and innocently convicted. He was beaten beyond recognition. He shed His blood and gave His life for you and me. And He endured the full wrath of God on the cross for the sins of the world. Still, through it all, Jesus considered the life of faith to be worth it despite the tremendous suffering involved.

As we consider Him, and all that He endured on our behalf, how could we possibly lose heart? Instead, when we consider Him, it will strengthen our resolve to persevere and to keep following hard after Him.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, You are our example. You are the very encouragement we need to persevere and endure. Thank You for all You endured for the sake of the gospel and my sake. Help me keep my eyes, my heart, and my mind focused on You. Prompt me when I grow faint to draw my strength from You. In Jesus’ name, amen.


This Irish proverb caught my attention…and has held it! I keep thinking about it…maybe because…it is true on so many levels.

It is true that it takes TIME for each person’s story to develop. It has been said..."One must wait until evening to see how splendid the day has been!"

Our stories are written in the little moments…that make up our lives. I don’t want to miss a moment! I also want to be a good steward of the TIME God has given me…making the most of my TIME. That requires being intentional…so I keep asking Him to “teach me to number my days so that I might have a heart of wisdom” (Ps 90:12)

It is also true…that it takes a Life-TIME for our story to be complete. We are a work in progress…the last chapter hasn’t been written yet…we need to wait patiently as God grows us through each stage of life. Each stage has a purpose in the completion of our personal story.

God is the master of TIME...He makes all things beautiful in His TIME.

I’m so glad that God keeps investing His TIME in me so that He can keep writing His story on my heart.

This Irish proverb reminds me to take TIME & be intentional about sharing my story & God's story with those He has placed in my path.

It challenges me to spend TIME listening to others & asking them to share their story.

TIME matters…Because…Time is a great storyteller.

It is in the fullness of TIME that Gods great story of redemption will be complete.

Hosea 10:12 reminds us to…"Sow for yourselves righteousness; reap steadfast love; break up your fallow ground, for it is TIME to seek the LORD, that He may come and rain righteousness upon you"

How much margin will you leave in your day allow God to creatively write the details of your story?

Who do you need to take some TIME to be with today & listen you can gain insight into their story?

What part of your story is unfinished…unsettled…incomplete?

Are you willing to trust remember...that in His TIME He will bring your story to completeness.

Life is Fragile

Holder Headstone

No parent should have to bury a child. It is heart breaking. Six years ago, our dear friends, Roy & Miriam, buried their oldest son, Tommy, who was almost 46 years old when he died. This weekend they buried their youngest son, Tim, who was also 46 years old. Both boys battled cancer. As a parent, I cannot even imagine...40 something is way too young to die!

The last visit I had with Tim...he looked great! I found it hard to believe he was going home from the hospital under hospice care with just a few weeks left to live. When I commented on how amazing he looked...without hesitation or reservation...he said..."It is Jesus! He has given me peace...and He is giving me the strength to face this." What A Blessed Assurance! My heart rejoiced as he spoke those words. During our time together...we laughed...we cried...we prayed...we said our "I love yous"...and our good-byes. (He even did a few imitations of folks for me--no surprise there!). It was a visit I will always cherish! Such a sweet time of fellowship.

I left the hospital that night...knowing Tim was ready to step into eternity. How do I know he was ready? I know because Tim had a personal relationship with Jesus that & hope-giving! He had a relationship with Jesus that was made evident by the peace he possessed--a peace that surpassed all understanding. It was Tim's faith & trust in Jesus that supplied him with the strength he needed to face his future. And so...I have no doubt that when Tim stepped into eternity...he stepped right into the arms of Jesus! 

Here is what else I know...Life is fragile...Every day is a gift...None of us are promised tomorrow...

"All life is like the grass. All of its grace and beauty fades like the wild flowers in a field. The grass withers, the flower fades as the breath of the Eternal One blows away. People are no different from grass. The grass withers, the flower fades; nothing lasts except the word of our God. It will stand forever." Isaiah 40:7-8

This life is but a fleeting moment...Eternity is just a breath away for each of your children close...tell those you love that you love them...and do it often!

Stop for a moment and think about this--If today were the stepped into eternity...would YOU be READY?

Would you find yourself safe & secure in the arms of Jesus?

Do you have a life-changing...hope-giving...peace-providing...strength-supplying personal relationship with Jesus Christ? Do you?

Heavenly Father, I thank you for the precious gift of life...I thank you for Tommy's life & Tim's life. I pray that you would comfort their family & friends during this time of unimaginable grief. Help each of us to make the most of the days we have been given on this earth. Help us to love you & love others. May we live with a sense of "readiness" to step into eternity & into your presence...and may we help others know they will be ready too! In Jesus Name

Reaching New Heights

Summertime at the lake...I love it! A time to relax & kick back & rest. When I get beside these still waters in the early morning my soul finds rest. The majesty of "Charlie Mountain" greets me with delight. It is during that "porch time" that I often hear God gently whisper to my heart. 

One morning, as the sun was coming up, my son and his son met me on the porch. I must confess, my first thought was "there goes my quiet time"!  But honestly, I didn't mind...I love being with them and watching them interact...and deep down...I knew God would redeem my time...& give me some quiet moments later on in the day to spend with Him. 

As I watched these grandson had his eyes glued to his dad...& his tiny body trembled a little as his dad hurled him up in the air with one hand...I could tell he was scared to death but it was also evident that this child trusted his father completely as he lifted him up!  He knew his dad had him...and it would all be okay.  While he was "high in the sky" his eye caught mine...and he giggled! That's when we both raised our hands and shouted "Yahoo"! That's when I snapped this picture. I remember thinking to myself... "this is a priceless moment!" A moment to be cherished!

Later that day, after everyone had gone was just me and God back out on the porch.  As I sat there thinking about the morning and looking at the picture I had taken...God redeemed the time!  I heard Him gently whisper to my heart this truth:

God, our Father, wants to lift His children up to new heights! It may be scary but we can trust Him...He loves us...He has got us...He won't let go...when we keep our eyes glued to Him & trust Him completely...we will be secure! He is our ROCK! Our lives are in His hands...and it's in His mighty hands that we will experience some priceless adventures! Adventures that keep us dependent upon Him and make us giggle at the same time!   Strength & Security--when life seems a little Scary--are found in Him.

"For who is God, but the LORD? And who is a rock, except our God?--the God who equipped me with strength and made my way blameless. He made my feet like the feet of a deer and set me secure on the heights"                              Psalm 18:31-32