When my daughter left home to move interstate I knew it was going to be a difficult week. My son moved to Melbourne a few years ago, so my husband and I are now on our own for the first time in twenty years.
Never have I been so free. I have no children at home, no ‘official’ job, no study and my husband is out every day. It sounds good on the surface and certainly when I have been occupied in the past with work and family I have looked forward to this with eager anticipation.
In reality though it is not an easy transition and I have experienced some very depressing days. I did however find some perverse amusement in taking a photograph of a miserable rusty garden ornament in the rain!
Most of us hide our inner discontent or gloom because we don’t want to be a burden on others and ask ourselves ‘what can they do about it anyway?’ Sharing the burden does lighten the load however, even if the listener can’t help directly. There is a lot of sadness around – we see it in our friends or in the news. If we count our blessings, the realisation that we have little excuse for misery does not help. It persists regardless.
With faith in God there is always hope. Truth never dies or goes away. It can be buried and covered up, but in the end reality just is, and for me, reality is my Creator. The fact that He is entirely wise and entirely good is a great comfort. He is a rock I can rely on for wisdom and strength. He knows exactly how we are wired.
King David wrote lots of unhappy psalms – I suppose like my photograph, his artistry as a writer was therapeutic. He poured out all his woes to God… ‘My life is in danger! My close friend has turned against me! I’ve sinned badly and I’m suffering with guilt!’
Job expressed his misery with even greater poetic prowess – and he had more reason than just about anybody to lament.
The thing is, both Job’s life and David’s psalms have positive endings. We may not be able to turn our emotions off or change our circumstances but we can still talk to God about it and know that He listens. This is not an excuse for self-righteousness or accusing God. Humility before Him is vital.
David always ended his laments with expressions of hope and truth. Job’s reasoning began to fall apart, but his respect for God did not… and for both of them God responded and brought restoration.
Hope is indeed justified for the humble.