Venting


In times of trouble, do you recognize when you are venting and being impetuous with your words?  Today we learn from Job to keep our expectations low, our thanksgiving for God’s love for us high, and our hope set on God to work in us and through us for his glory…

1 Then Job replied:

2 “If only my anguish could be weighed
and all my misery be placed on the scales!
3 It would surely outweigh the sand of the seas—
no wonder my words have been impetuous.
4 The arrows of the Almighty are in me,
my spirit drinks in their poison;
God’s terrors are marshaled against me.
5 Does a wild donkey bray when it has grass,
or an ox bellow when it has fodder?

11 “What strength do I have, that I should still hope?
What prospects, that I should be patient?
12 Do I have the strength of stone?
Is my flesh bronze?
13 Do I have any power to help myself,
now that success has been driven from me?

14 “Anyone who withholds kindness from a friend
forsakes the fear of the Almighty.
15 But my brothers are as undependable as intermittent streams,
as the streams that overflow
16 when darkened by thawing ice
and swollen with melting snow,
17 but that stop flowing in the dry season,
and in the heat vanish from their channels.
20 They are distressed, because they had been confident;
they arrive there, only to be disappointed.
21 Now you too have proved to be of no help;
you see something dreadful and are afraid.
Job 6:1-5, 11-17, 20-21

It is interesting how Job recognizes that his situation is driving his emotions, which are in turn, driving his words.  He says, “No wonder my words have been impetuous.”  No wonder.  He has lost his farm and his children and he is afflicted with sores over his whole body.  He believes that the arrows of the Almighty are in him.

And so he vents.  He moans.  Like a donkey brays when it has no grass.

Do you recognize when you are venting and being impetuous with your words?  We can be careless with our venting when we are down in the dumps, can’t we?  Job, as we have seen in earlier chapters, does not sin against the Lord in his venting.  How about you?

Do you blame God?  Do you curse his name or get angry with him?  These are the dangerous paths of anger and hurt.  Where do you place your emotions?  On whom or what do you heap your venting?  Be careful to not blame God.

Job throws a little shade on his friends in his venting.  He calls them undependable because they have not been able to solve his situation.  He sees their distress because they arrived in confidence, believing they could help, and now they are afraid, because they realize they cannot fix Job’s predicament.

Sometimes we expect too much from our friends.  We can project our circumstance on them when really we are to blame ourselves or when we ought to simply accept that situations come our way by the active will or permissive will of God.

It’s time to reflect on our response to pain and trouble in our lives.  Venting is not wrong (this book and the book of the Psalms are full of venting). Vent about the situation, though, and try to not vent at your confidantes or toward the Lord who has your life in his hands.

God is aware of your circumstances and he is listening to your cries.  He may not provide relief on your schedule, so keep your expectations low, your thanksgiving for his love for you high, and your hope set on God to work in you and through you for his glory.

Amen.

Marc Kinna

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