This section (part 2) examines the struggle Job was experiencing in his heart. Although his head said the right things, he was still struggling deeply in his heart. It looks at just how difficult and how long his grief lasted, and it points out some of the honest emotions Job had as he questioned and petitioned God. I have also added my experiences in as well.

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The Struggle with the Heart

by Mindy Wilsford

Copyright © 2004 Mindy Wilsford

Although his head was in line, Job still had to struggle with his heart.

3 So I have been allotted months of futility,
And wearisome nights have been appointed to me.
4 When I lie down, I say, 'When shall I arise,
And the night be ended?'
For I have had my fill of tossing till dawn.
5 My flesh is caked with worms and dust,
My skin is cracked and breaks out afresh.
6 "My days are swifter than a weaver's shuttle,
And are spent without hope.
Job 7:3-6 (NKJV)

He felt like he was just marking time, trying to get through each night and each day for months. And he had also called his grief a heavy weight. My good friend Allison described it as being crippled by the grief. It drains us physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually, making even simple tasks very hard to complete. The feeling of hopelessness comes when it just seems to go on and on and we begin to wonder if it will ever end.

2 Oh, that I were as in months past,
As in the days when God watched over me;
3 When His lamp shone upon my head,
And when by His light I walked through darkness;
4 Just as I was in the days of my prime,
When the friendly counsel of God was over my tent;
5 When the Almighty was yet with me,
When my children were around me;
Job 29:2-5 (NKJV)

Itís ok and normal to remember and wish things were as they used to be, to want to get back to normal. But we never will get back to normal after a severe trial Ė at least not as we were.

Shortly after Abigailís death I wrote: Most people would think that now that Abigail has died itís over and we must be relieved to be getting back to normal. There is a big misconception that getting through the death and funeral is the hard part. And when we do that without falling to pieces, the perception is that we have ďmade itĒ. No one (not even us) realized how much harder it was yet to become. But I am seeing that going through it was the easy part; living without her is so much harder.

At times, I remember saying, ďI hate this. I donít want to be here. I donít want to be home. I just donít want to be.Ē I would have heartily welcomed being taken home to heaven. And Job also said,

8 "Oh, that I might have my request,
That God would grant me the thing that I long for!
9 That it would please God to crush me,
That He would loose His hand and cut me off!
Job 6:8-9 (NKJV)

Longing for heaven is normal. Praying for God to take us is normal. But we have a hard time dealing with the intensity of the longing for heaven Ė it scares us - we tend to think something is wrong with us and are afraid to tell anyone. But even Job wanted to die. We need to pour it out to God like Job did.

And Job also felt anger and let God have it.

1 "My soul loathes my life;
I will give free course to my complaint,
I will speak in the bitterness of my soul.
2 I will say to God, 'Do not condemn me;
Show me why You contend with me.
3 Does it seem good to You that You should oppress,
That You should despise the work of Your hands,
And smile on the counsel of the wicked?
Job 10:1-3 (NKJV)

He felt no joy at this time; he was asking why it was happening. He was basically asking if God was enjoying this - watching him suffer when evil men prospered. These are very strong words. But Job was pouring out his heart to God. It isnít fair that we have trials when the person next door doesnít, even if that person isnít wicked. And it takes a while to come to terms with that. But God knows that and gives us time to do that. Even Jesus in the garden had to pour out his heart to God before he was ready to go to the cross. He prayed all night, in agony as sweating blood, to get the strength he needed to endure the suffering.

At times I was overwhelmed with how much this stinks and hurts and how unfair it is. And I just wanted to fight back, but there was nothing to fight. I was outraged at the injustice; sometimes the only way to deal with the anger I felt was to physically DO something. I needed to walk every day. Sometimes I needed to hit or throw something. I have beaten pillows, hit things with a plastic ball bat, and thrown my watch (you know, they really do take a licking and keep on ticking!). I have heard of others who bought old dishes at garage sales and used them to throw at the garage. Sometimes we just need to get the anger out.

Part 1: Job's struggle | Part 3: Job's Friends | Part 4: Job's Gift
Main Grief Resources | Helping a Grieving Friend | My Grief Journal

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