As I listened to one of Pastor John Piper's sermons online, I can't help but dwell in one of the lessons I've picked up from him. He has mentioned of a verse in Job which has really gotten hold of me and have left me pondering (and eventually blogging about it!).
We all know that in Job's life he has really gone through much tribulations that you and I could never imagine. As we read about his experience we find Job's conversation to his friends lingered for so many chapters in his book because they were going back and forth and back and forth with him. We eventually find Job talking about things that were unlikely for a man of God like him. In his despair, (and who wouldn't be after all that's happened to him!) Job finally reached a point in time when his speech was more of saying "Why me? End my life, Lord!". His friends who were listening to him have come to a point of rebuking every single word he's let loose about his circumstances and about God.
I am like that, too. There are just moments in my life where I find myself so beat up with stress and the circumstances around me that I would raise up questions about God's goodness, God's love and God's sovereignty. Yet, amidst all my sulking and whining, our God remains to be GOOD, LOVING and SOVEREIGN. For he has allowed one verse to be included in the bible which will somehow give comfort to those who are despairing.
Job in chapter 6:26 said this to his friends, "Do you think that you can reprove words, when the speech of a despairing man is wind?". Job was, at this very verse, telling his friends that had he not been in the valley of despair and have said the words that he did then can his friends rebuke him about it. But since he was a despairing soul, the very speech he used were composed of words that are wind. Wind because they didn't have substance at all. Questions about God's love? God's goodness? God's sovereignty in our lives? How can there be any substance to a despairing soul's words such as that when in reality, the truth about who God is in our lives never changes and always prevails? He IS good and He IS loving and He IS sovereign. Nothing can change that. It is beyond question. But when we reach a point in our lives when we are too blinded by hurt, too tired and weary of pain, too exhausted of the fight, and we raise up our voices to ask God "Why?", we should never condemn ourselves nor should we condemn those who are despairing who would give such a speech. For the words of a despairing man is considered as worthless. It comes quickly but goes away so fast, too. It doesn't hold any substance. There is no weight to it. We all shouldn't hold on to it and be critical about it because there is really nothing to it! They were just words blurted out of despair and eventually when the dust settles, the heart and mind would calm down and one would think and feel otherwise.
We ought to remind ourselves about this one when we get into a conversation with someone who is in despair. Words may turn sour but we need not raise a rebuke to it because anything that comes out of a despairing man's mouth is nothing but words for the wind. Let's allow it to pass. Let's not dwell in it. At least this way, we won't have to spend an entire day or an entire week dealing with a person and trying to rebuke them for their speech like Job's friends did. When the grass root level of it is despair, let it get into one ear and out the other. Let us learn to keep silent when a despairing soul speaks.