Bitter Complaints

Then Job answered and said: “Today also my complaint is bitter; my hand is heavy on account of my groaning. Oh, that I knew where I might find him, that I might come even to his seat!
Job 23:1–3
Bitter Complaints
Job is tired.  He is tired of his situation, the pain and suffering.  He is tired of his friends’ accusations of impiety. Job is tired of his seeming inability to understand why he is suffering as he is. Job wants answers. As he here speaks more to himself than to his friends, Job laments the fact that he can’t seem to connect with God.  His complaint is bitter.  He seeks God yet does not think he has found Him.  So often we find ourselves in very similar situations.  We want clarity and understanding to a particular problem, yet we can’t seem to find it.  We want God to show us a sign, yet none appears.  Our complaints turn bitter. Yet God never abandons His people. He never ignores their plight.  God hears every prayer of the faithful and answers them according to His good and gracious will, in His perfect time.  The problems come when we forget this.  When we demand God act in accordance with our demands and in our time frame.  Nevertheless, God is still there with us.  He still takes our pains and sorrows, our troubles and sins, and washes them away. Every time a penitent sinner kneels at the altar, they receive the cure for the soul.  Every time God Word is spoken and heard it accomplishes its task.  The Law convicts and the Gospel sooths.  When Holy Absolution is pronounced, we are assured that God has heard our prayers and answered them.  It is then that our bitter complaints turn to sweet contentment.  Christ holds us close to Himself in these times. His blood cleanses us of the bitterness, His forgiveness grants comfort.
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