Gwen and I recently spoke to a godly woman who has reached the end of her endurance. This woman’s family has seen incredible suffering. She wakes up each day with a black cloud of pain hanging over her home. She has spent endless hours praying and calling on the Lord for help, and her friends have stood with her in intercession.
But month after month goes by, and things do not change. Just when she sees a ray of hope, things go back to the way they were, yet everything is worse. She hears a message or reads something that inspires her faith, and she tries to soldier on. But now she is totally worn out. She cries a lot. She can hardly sleep. She is far beyond asking why there is so much endless suffering and pain. Now she is simply hoping to see a little light at the end of her dark tunnel of sorrow.
She told us, “I have come to the place where I feel I have the right to give up. I’ve done everything God has asked me. I have believed, I have sought him, I have been faithful in church and in reading his Word. Yet I see no relief. I feel alone and helpless, depressed. I am numb because of the constant nagging thought that things will only get worse in spite of all my efforts to obey. Now I have to fight this thought: ‘I have a right to feel as I do because I see no end to suffering.’”
We are praying diligently for her and her family. We believe she will not faint in the battle and that the Lord will send her help and encouragement. But what she has said in her despair truly touches something deep inside my soul. Many godly believers have come to the same place of hopelessness, and in sorrow they also cry, “I have a right to quit the fight. I have a right to be angry. I have a right to question God. When will he answer my cry? Has the Lord passed me by?”
In Job’s despair, he cried, “(He) has destroyed me on every side, and I am gone: and my hope hath (he) removed like a tree… He counts me as one his of enemies” (Job 19:10-11). Job then added: “He has fenced me in so I cannot pass, and he has set darkness in my paths” (19:8).
Does any of this sound familiar to you? Is this your battle? Is it the struggle of someone you know? Beloved, God is merciful. He will not turn from you in your trial. He will not hold it against you for expressing such thoughts when you are down and hurting. Job came out of his trial to a place of hope, and so will you.
“I go forward, but he is not there: and backward, but I cannot perceive him: on the left hand, where he does work, but I cannot behold him: he hides himself on the right hand, I cannot see him. But he knows the way that I take; when he has tried me, I shall come forth as gold” (Job 23:8-10).