And now my life drains out,
as suffering seizes and grips me hard.
Night gnaws at my bones;
the pain never lets up. (Job 30:16-17)
Oh, Job. I read about the boils before. I never noticed these words on seizing and night pains until I, too, struggle with them night after night and have healed from pressure sore.
Job, I understand your physical suffering anew, as I can begin to imagine your pain at losing your family.
When Satan and God had their conversation at the beginning of the book, Job didn't say anything about his losses beyond God gives, and God takes. Blessed be the name of the Lord. He didn't voice his despair and questions until God allowed Satan to also attack his health. The wording is gruesome: Job was ulcers and scabs from head to foot. Equating Job with his skin disease? It must have covered him without leaving an empty spot.
I had one tiny pressure sore. It was horrible.
More than that, I have rls (restless leg syndrome) as well as muscle spasms, whether from lack of movement or from lack of potassium, I don't know. So I suffer as a spasm seizes me. My body goes rigid.
And it's worst at night. I can't ignore it, it gnaws at me, my bones pop as my hips and knees grind bone against bone.
And some nights, the pain never lets up.
The nights I can sleep six hours pain free are rare indeed. And when I hurt, I sleep in fifteen to twenty minute snatches--until the next spasm hits.
I go into these details, not to make you feel sorry for me. And Job's pain stayed with him all day. I'm generally okay throughout the day, except when it's past time for my next pain pill. :)
I tried offering the pain to God as a sacrifice of praise. Hoping it would take my mind off the pain. It didn't work. Job offered his grief to God. His physical pain pushed him past the breaking point. He demanded answers.
I can better understand the fierce emotion of Job's words. Pain does that to you. It exaggerates and magnifies other frustrations. If I can't be pain free, then at least I won't be forced to eat a tuna fish sandwich. At least I shouldn't have to wait to receive help that would ease the pain.
No wonder Job had no patience with his friends.
As I earlier held up Job as an example of dealing with emotional suffering, I hold him up now to those with chronc diseases, especially pain.
And perhaps take hope that our suffering also testifies to God's glory as Job's did.