Today's Lectionary Text
Job 6:1-4, 8-15, 21
Oh, that my grief were actually weighed,
Oh, that what I’ve requested would come
Are friends loyal to the one who despairs,
Wet sand – I do not think there is anything heavier! Ask any of our ERTs who have carried shovel after shovel of wet sand up basement steps after a home has been flooded. In our passage, Job, in defending his anger, says that his grief is heavier than the sands of the sea. (v.3). As a kid, we would cover one another up with sand, just leaving the head out. Some of us (I confess) would use buckets of water to pour over the sand. We did not know any better, we did not know that our play was actually very dangerous. The weight of wet sand can suffocate the life out of someone.
Job is weighed down, and his words are bitter and harsh. He is downright mad at God, and Job’s words are not calm nor passive. Can’t you hear Job as he yells “My God, my God, why have You left me?” Job is anything but patient.
If you were ever covered by wet sand, do you remember attempting to get up? Do you recall the struggle? It is like wrestling with someone else. At first, you must begin to move your arms and legs to start loosening the sand around you. Finally, you will break free, yet it takes work.
Job feels completely alone and helpless, while he is attempting to get out from under the wet sand. He turns to friends for help. He just wants them to look at him and listen to the truth of his pain. He wants his friends to tell him what he has done in his life to deserve such pain and burden. Job is wanting his friends to help him to get out from under the heavy wet sand.
For Job, the struggle was real. Our struggles are real. The weight of the wet sand seems to get heavier and heavier at times. Like Job, if we can keep our endurance during the struggle, we will break free. The endurance, the patience to hang in and keep wrestling will lead us to a powerful encounter with God. We will come out a little sandy, yet free and changed.
--Rev. Hollie Tapley
disaster response coordinator
Prayer for Reflection
God, during our times of being covered and weighed down with wet sand, help us to hold on to our endurance. Amen.
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