My breath is corrupt, my days are extinct, the graves are ready for me.
2 Are there not mockers with me? and doth not mine eye continue in their provocation?
3 Lay down now, put me in a surety with thee; who is he that will strike hands with me?
4 For thou hast hid their heart from understanding: therefore shalt thou not exalt them.
5 He that speaketh flattery to his friends, even the eyes of his children shall fail.
6 He hath made me also a byword of the people; and aforetime I was as a tabret.
7 Mine eye also is dim by reason of sorrow, and all my members are as a shadow.
8 Upright men shall be astonied at this, and the innocent shall stir up himself against the hypocrite.
9 The righteous also shall hold on his way, and he that hath clean hands shall be stronger and stronger.
10 But as for you all, do ye return, and come now: for I cannot find one wise man among you.
11 My days are past, my purposes are broken off, even the thoughts of my heart.
12 They change the night into day: the light is short because of darkness.
13 If I wait, the grave is mine house: I have made my bed in the darkness.
14 I have said to corruption, Thou art my father: to the worm, Thou art my mother, and my sister.
15 And where is now my hope? as for my hope, who shall see it?
16 They shall go down to the bars of the pit, when our rest together is in the dust.
Public Domain KJV text from Wordproject.org
My spirit is broken and my eyes are dim with grief. All the plans and dreams of my heart have been shattered. I have become an object of ridicule to others. Who can see any hope for me?
Job’s lament is the dirge of all those who have been robbed of health, of loved ones, of a career, of the fondest hopes of a human heart. He sings the song that every mourning heart moans.
When life’s possessions and accomplishments have been swept away, when what makes you “you” has vanished, when you are nothing but a source of gossip and scorn to others, what provides the hope to keep breathing? To keep trying? To never give up?
Hope is not conjured up through willpower. Hope exists by believing that there is more beyond the suffering. It always looks beyond the losses. Hope fuels itself by claiming promises from God, who never leaves you though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed. Hope is found by weeping in the compassionate presence of a Savior who catches your tears in His bottle of remembrance.
Suffering may endure for the moment, but joy will last for eternity. That is hope!
Chaplain (currently disabled), Eugene, Oregon USA