“But if I go to the east, He is not there;
if I go to the west, I do not find Him.
When He is at work in the north, I do not see Him;
when He turns to the south, I catch no glimpse of Him.
But He knows the way that I take;
when He has tested me,
I will come forth as gold.”
Job 23: 8-10
Sometimes through the deep, dark valleys of this life, our hearts sink into despair and we may wonder – Does anyone see? Does anyone hear? Does anyone care? Does anyone know and understand my pain?
Job was a prosperous farmer in the land of Uz. He was wealthy and everything was going well for him. The Lord Himself said he was “blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil.” Satan told the Lord that it’s no wonder he fears God, because everything is going well for him. If God would take everything away from him, he would curse God. So God allowed Satan to test Job’s faith.
And so the devastation began. So heartbreaking that no one could endure it without God. Lone surviving servants came one after another to announce bitter losses. Serbians attacked and carried off all the oxen and donkeys and killed all but one servant with the sword. Fire fell from the sky and burned up the sheep and his servants. The Chaldeans carried away his camels and killed his servants.
Then came the biggest blow of all. His sons and daughters were feasting together when a mighty wind swept in and collapsed the house. All of his precious children gone in one blast!
Job got up and tore his robe, shaved his head, and sat in ashes. His heart was heavy with mourning. And yet He still fell to the ground in worship to God, “Naked came I from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart. The Lord gave and the Lord hast taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised.” (Job 1:21)
Satan fumed about this and told God that if He struck Job’s own flesh and bones, he will surely curse Him. So Job was covered with painful sores over his entire body. He sat down in the ashes and scraped himself with broken pottery.
His precious children were killed. His livestock and most of his servants were all gone. And there he sat amid the ashes with painful boils covering his body. Humanly impossible to endure, right? Yet there’s more. His wife railed at him to curse God and die. And finally his close friends, though at first they wept with him, told him he must have done some sin to anger God, and God was punishing him because of it.
In extreme pain and unspeakable grief, he cursed the day he was born. His faith in God was sorely tested. He couldn’t help but feel God was against him – “The arrows of the Almighty are in me, my spirit drinks in their poison; God’s terrors are marshaled against me.” (Job 6:4) He cries, “He has demolished me on every side, and I am finished. He has uprooted my hope like a fallen tree.” (Job 19:10)
God’s terror against him. His hope uprooted. How utterly forsaken and abandoned he felt! He looked east, west, north, and south for God, but he couldn’t find Him. He could not hang onto what he knew of God’s faithfulness. He must have started to question himself, wondering if maybe he did do something wrong to stir up God’s anger against him.
But after nearly losing himself in his friends’ criticism and all the negative thoughts that stirred up, he rallied. He remembered who God really is, that His thoughts and ways are above ours. “BUT HE KNOWS the way that I take.” God knew every step he had taken. God knew he was in pain in body and spirit. And when some people do not, cannot, or will not understand, God always understands.
His trembling hand of faith reached forth and held onto his all-knowing and faithful God. He could leave all things into the hands of the GOD WHO KNOWS. He trusted in His infinite knowledge. He trusted God’s love and understanding. He trusted God had everything under control for his good. He even believed that after God had tested him, he would come forth as gold.
Are you suffering physically or emotionally? Do you feel forsaken? Do you feel misunderstood and alone? Do you have a hidden sadness?
BUT HE KNOWS! Yes, there is Someone who sees, who hears, who cares, who knows and understands. God knows all our ways. Not one pain in our hearts, no matter how deep and hidden it is to others, escapes His notice. He understands all our thoughts and troubles. He feels our pain so deeply that He aches for us and He weeps with us. Sometimes like Job we may get overwhelmed and can’t find Him, but He is always still here watching out for us.
Someday at the end of all the testing, God will not only just bring us through it, but we will come forth as gold. Glorious thought! He knows why He tests us, and He does it out of love for us, to honor us, to strengthen us, to make us better able to comfort those who are without comfort. (2 Cor. 1:4) His purpose is always for our good. God the Holy Spirit is transforming us into His image with ever-increasing glory (2 Cor. 3: 18).
Yes, no matter how deep and dark the valley is that you’re going through… GOD KNOWS. GOD CARES.
“I have told you these things,
so that in Me you may have peace.
In this world you will have trouble.
But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
“For I know the plans I have for you,”
declares the LORD,
“plans to prosper you and not to harm you,
plans to give you hope and a future.”
“I consider that our present sufferings
are not worth comparing with the glory
that will be revealed in us.”
“Tears Are a Language God Understands” by Heritage Singers
Thank You, God, that
You know and You care!
Linking up with:
Holley – Coffee For Your Heart
Jennifer – Tell His Story
Kelly – Cheerleaders of Faith
Bonnie – Faith Barista’s Beloved Brews