“Then Job answered the LORD and said: ‘I know that You can do all things, and that no purpose of Yours can be thwarted.'” (Job 42:1-2 ESV)
“Oh, Jesus, it’s awful dark down there. You’d better hold my hand,” said the little boy on the edge of the stairwell.
Do you know that feeling? Of course, you do.
For some of you the challenge is advancing age. So many of your friends and family have died—perhaps all have died—and you feel so alone. Some of you are isolated by health problems. You can’t get out and do the things you used to do, things you’d love to do again. Some of you may feel shunned. People who used to be good friends now avoid you. What did you do to them? You may not know, but they’ve turned their backs on you, and the loneliness can be painful.
So many situations leave us feeling like that little boy standing all alone and peering down the steep basement steps into the darkness.
Of course, you know you’re not alone in your feelings. Many others have experienced these heartaches. For one, Job did. Once he had been healthy, but that had been taken away from him. The Bible tells us he had “loathsome sores from the sole of his foot to the crown of his head. And he took a piece of broken pottery with which to scrape himself while he sat in the ashes” (Job 2:7b-8 ESV).
Job could also identify with you when you are shunned by friends. People who had respected him and sought him out in his heyday, now mocked him. “And now I have become their song; I am a byword to them. They abhor me; they keep aloof from me; they do not hesitate to spit at the sight of me” (Job 30:9-10 ESV).
Job didn’t feel like he was over the hill; he felt like he was being buried under it. “And now my soul is poured out within me; days of affliction have taken hold of me. … and the pain that gnaws me takes no rest” (Job 30:16, 17b ESV).
How he longed for the good old days.
That’s what you may ask, too: “God, why is this happening to me?” God often does not answer the “Why?” question. He didn’t answer it for Job; He may not answer it for us, either. But God does know our pain. In fact, that’s why Jesus came—to bring us light, life, and forgiveness through His death on the cross and His resurrection from the grave (see 1 Peter 1:3-6).
Jesus knows when we’re so painfully alone. He knows when we say, “Oh, Jesus, it’s awful dark down there. You’d better hold my hand.”
And He will.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, the darkness we experience has been dispelled by the light of Your Son. Thank You, Jesus! In Your Name we pray. Amen.
From “When You Feel So Painfully Alone,” a sermon excerpt from Rev. Dr. Dale Meyer, former Speaker of The Lutheran Hour
Used by permission from International Lutheran Laymen’s League, all rights reserved
1. When was the last time you felt really alone?
2. How do you turn your future over to God when you’ve lost something substantial, like Job?
3. Does knowing what Jesus went through for you give you courage? How so?