Months of Emptiness
Months of Emptiness
Job asked this question in Job 7:1-4: “Has not man a hard service upon earth, and are not his days like the days of a hireling? Like a slave who longs for the shadow, and like a hireling who looks for his wages, so I am allotted months of emptiness, and nights of misery are apportioned to me. When I lie down I say, ‘When shall I arise?’ But the night is long, and I am full of tossing till the dawn”.
Job endured prolonged agony in his suffering. His troubles seemed to never end, and those troubles were “wearing him thin”. The slightest glimmer of hope seemed to fade quickly. Job understood a hired servant would receive wages and servants could rest, but he sees no end to his dilemma - no payday - no relief.
This is unique to the feeling of those in affliction. Some have been incapable of walking for years. Some have not had a “well day” or moment free from pain in months. Strangely enough, they survive. Some do more than survive, they conquer. They learn to live with God in their affliction. They make their affliction a moment of humility in service to others. They even learn to smile.
If you were to visit and “cheer up” those in affliction, you will most often be cheered up yourself. You may go to extend comfort (2 Cor 1:3-11), but you receive more comfort than you can give. For those who appear to need their emptiness turned to fullness and their drabness turned to splendor, your visit to them may be welcomed with a smile. A song of thanks may flow from their lips rather than complaint. Those who suffer will make you feel as though you are in the room of a warrior not a prisoner.
Many who suffer and indulge in self-pity often have a difficult time enduring prolonged problems. The hope for the one who continually bears his/her affliction is the same as the one who has no affliction (Romans 8:18-25; 2 Corinthians 4:16-18). God’s grace. God’s promises. Mutual exhortation. Service with a hopeful smile. Joy in Christ Jesus.
Those who strive to make others happy will look upon their troubles as “light affliction, which is but for a moment”. He or she will learn to appreciate the promise made through Peter, “But the God of all grace…after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, establish, strengthen, settle you” (1 Peter 5:10).