July 4 | Daily Devotion

Lectio Continua: a continuous reading of every verse

Lectio Semi-continua: shorter reading selections from the passages

Lectio Divina

“My lyre is tuned to mourning, and my pipe to the sound of wailing.” ~Job 30:31

Perhaps sensing that he has the upper hand, Job stops arguing. Now he is just grieving. He remembers with fondness the days before this great tragedy struck. “How I long for the months gone by” (Job 29:2). He recalls the days when he was in good health and enjoyed sweet fellowship with God. He saw his children around him—laughing and enjoying life together. Those were times of great joy and prosperity, when every pleasure was available to him, including the best foods. He was respected everywhere he went.

Job was a member of the city’s elite and, therefore, called on by the ruling class for counsel and advice. When he entered town, having donned his finely woven Arabian tunic, commoners and noblemen took notice. They said in hushed tones, There’s Job, the most important man in the lands of the East. He used his money and influence for good. He helped the poor, the orphans, and the widows. He provided legal counsel for people wrongly accused. He loved God, he loved people, he enjoyed prosperity, and he used his considerable blessings to bless others.

But those days are gone. His reality now is grief and loss. He longs for his children. He misses the good things he once enjoyed. His health is fading, and he believes he will soon die. Those who admired him now scorn him. Even worthless men are running their mouths in ridicule, perhaps giving voice to the thread of jealousy that ran through their former admiration. It is in this state of pain that Job raises his eyes to heaven: “I cry out to you, O God, but you do not answer”(Job 30:20).

I have never been through anything so utterly devastating as what Job experienced. But after 46 yeas of life—with 25 of those spent in ministry—I have a much better understanding of grief. Sometimes life brings you to your knees. I have wept with people who lost spouses, children, or friends. And I have grieved over painful disappointment in my own life. There are times when all that is left to do is cry out, “God, where are You? Why won’t You answer me?” Grieving does not necessarily mean we have lost our faith or that we are angry with God.  It simply means that we are hurting and that our souls are crying out for God to respond—to give us some comfort, some hope, some word of encouragement. Do not lose hope in your grief. Your Redeemer is alive and will break His silence (Job 19:25). He will soon come to your rescue—as Job is about to discover.

Lectio Divina is written by F. Lionel Young III, who serves as the senior pastor of Calvary Church in Valparaiso, Indiana. He is the author of A New Kind of Missionary, a popular introduction to global Christianity.