Praying Job 13:15-16
Today’s verse is Job 13:15-16
Though He slay me, yet will I hope in Him;
I will surely defend my ways to His face.
Indeed, this will turn out for my deliverance,
for no godless person would dare come before Him!
Let’s pray together.
God, I’m confessing once again that I don’t often think of You as being the one in control. Not really. My mind says, ‘of course, I believe that.’ But my heart says it wants to be in control. It wants to make sure that I will be taken care of. That I will be protected. That I will not be hurt. That I have everything I want and need. And that doesn’t often leave room for You. It pushes You away. It says that I don’t trust You.
When I read these words I feel such conviction. Because, yes, I feel hopeless, I feel despairing, I feel lost, I feel confused, I feel sad, I feel hurt, I feel angry, I feel mistreated, I feel rejected. Job felt all these things and, I have to believe, felt them a million times more acutely. Yet there was a faith in him that I know I don’t have or feel. What a horrible, awful, terrible, agonizing situation he found himself in and he didn’t know why. That can be so hard, to feel like everything is crumbling and to have no idea why. To believe that God is supposed to take care of me, and yet, where are You? Why is this happening? What did I do to deserve this?
I am not always innocent the way that Job knew himself to be, but I do know that so often, the walls of my life crowd around me and I don’t understand why. It seems like there was no way of predicting these things would happen and no way of preventing them. I didn’t cause them; they just are. And it hurts and it’s lonely and it’s terrifying. And it feels like it will never end. Oh, God, that’s when I need You most.
But that’s when You disappear. That’s when the answers don’t come. That’s when I cry out and wonder where You’ve gone and why You’ve deserted me. The simple answer is, You haven’t. But it feels like You have. And instead of sinking into the fog of despair, Jesus, I pray You lift me into Your truth. I want to speak like Job and announce to the world that my hope is so strong in You, I would die, I would be killed by You, before I denied that hope.
Even when there are hard things, when life seems like it will never be joyful or hopeful again, I want to feel it engrained in my bones, that Jesus loves me and watches over me. I want to know that You take care of me and that You know the path set out before me. You are always looking out for my good. Even when it seems impossible, there is a way forward. And it’s always the way to You. Even when You are allowing things for my own good and I can’t see it. May this still be my path and my inner strength.
God, this pain I am feeling—this sense of torment, this idea of despair stretching out before me into eternity, this fear and anxiety that I will never be happy again, please turn it for my deliverance. Please show me what I can learn, show me how to trust in You, show me Your peace that passes understanding, and the deep, abiding comfort of a Savior’s gift of everything. I know something Job did not know. I know that my Redeemer lives and I know His name. I know what He went through on my behalf and it makes both Job’s and my experiences pale into nothing.
And it doesn’t always help, this knowledge, but remind me of it anyway. Remind me that I don’t have to defend myself before You, because You know it all, and You dared to let me come before You anyway. We have a path toward You despite our pain and our sin and our ignorance and our anger. We can be with You, day and night. And I want to claim that right. May that be what I yearn for, rather than always looking inward, pitying and prideful, desperate to make myself well. I can’t do it, only You can.
LORD, whatever path You lay before me, may I walk it in cheerful obedience. May my trust for You be so complete that I do not mind whatever comes my way. You will be with me in the dark valleys and comfort me. You will protect me no matter what. You will provide for me no matter what. And no valley lasts forever. Our dark nights of the soul are just nights. As Oscar Romero says, ‘beyond the night, the dawn already glows.’ May that be my anthem today, an anthem of praise and trust and hope in You.
I pray this in Your powerful, Your all-caring, and Your sufficient name, Jesus. Amen.