“My spirit is broken, days are cut short, the grave awaits me. Surely mockers surround me; my eyes must dwell on their hostility” (Job 17:1 NIV).
Despair is a common human emotion. As finite beings, we often struggle to see beyond the moment, and when circumstances overwhelm us, we can all too easily find our emotions swept away. The floodwaters come over us, and we despair. And that’s okay—as long as we don’t stay there.
The dreadful circumstances in Job’s life overwhelmed him. He didn’t feel like being “spiritual”; the reality he was facing was too heavy. Yet, he didn’t try to hide what he felt; he embraced it. He shared it with his friends: “My spirit is broken, days are cut short, the grave awaits me.”
Have you ever been there? Don’t compare yourself to Job or anyone else. Your worst day is your worst day. Have you been there?
It’s okay. We all have. Having faith does not mean that we do not experience despair. Sometimes the most honest part of our faith can be articulating our despair. Job was done, his spirit broken. He looked toward the grave. He felt he couldn’t do anymore. His friends offered little help. Their comfort did little.
We need to learn to find God in our despair. That does not mean we ignore it. We can’t assume that if we don’t acknowledge it, it will go away. It won’t. Our despair stems from being overwhelmed in the moment. It’s an easy thing to do when you’re finite. That’s why we need to find God in our despair. The One who is infinite.
When you experience despair, all feels lost. Our hopes, our dreams, everything seems gone. Job was honest about how he felt. God eventually answered him. God didn’t give him a step-by-step program to get out of his despair. God entered and answered Job in his despair.
When we find ourselves overwhelmed by despair, we can turn our back on God. It’s easy to do. The challenge is to remain facing toward God even in the midst of our despair and feelings of brokenness. That’s the key—which way we’re facing.
Our life may be desolate for a time, but if we face God, He can redeem those moments. He can answer us out of eternity.
Father, even in the midst of our deepest despair and desolation, may we turn our faces toward You. Amen.