A Broken Spirit
Today’s scripture selection: Job 17-18
Key verses: Job 17:1
In the long lament of Job – chapter after chapter expressing anger and frustration and hurt – perhaps there are no words that express it more succinctly than the ones we find when he says “My spirit is broken….”
That says it all.
Just four short words that sum up all of his pain and frustration. And in response, one of his so called friends, Bildad, can only offer criticism.
Is Job feeling sorry for himself? Of course he is. Is he caught up into negative thinking that keeps him from seeing his way past his problems? Absolutely.
But that’s how it is when your spirit is “broken.” Objective reality falls by the wayside – and darkness takes over.
When that happens, what do you do?
Friends can help by being sympathetic. Professional counseling is always a good option – providing an objective and empathetic ear. Even simple exercise – if you can find the strength to do it – can help chase away the shadows too.
But when your spirit is truly broken – seemingly beyond repair – let me offer one more suggestion…
Rely on the Spirit that is beyond your own.
Before you completely throw in the towel – try prayer.
I know it sounds cliché – the kind of thing you would expect a preacher to say. But it works.
And even if your pain is so great; and the fog so dense that you find it almost impossible to find the words to pray, try anyway. Even if the only words that come to mind are “Lord, I don’t know where to begin…” you’ve started the conversation. And, in my experience, God somehow miraculously often takes things from there. Living with a broken spirit is hard. But God loves you enough to take what you think is hopelessly broken and help fix it.
How about giving Him a chance?
Prayer: Heavenly Father, some days I just don’t know where to begin. But let’s talk. Help me to listen. AMEN.