This Is Hard To Swallow

Do you remember those days gone by, when as a kid, your mom would hand you a pill and she would say, “Swallow this?”  I can still remember how I thought, when taking antibiotics that I was being asked to swallow a basketball instead of  a pill.  My mom used to say, “Oh, it doesn’t taste that bad.”  I later discovered this was simply a code that really meant you had better get it down fast because if you do not, it is going to taste horrible.

I was reminded of this as I continued my study of the life of Job, chapters 6-7.  I remind you that Job has been told by his friends, “You are in sin.  Confess your sin and God will restore you to favor.”  Here in these chapters we find Job’s response.

Job simply responds to his friends, “This is hard to swallow.”  “Can that which is tasteless be eaten without salt.  Or is there any taste in the juice of the mallow.”  Question, “Are there things in your life that seem hard to swallow?”

Consider what Job thought was hard to swallow.  First, he did not want to swallow the hurt he was facing.  The weight, shame, and sorrow he felt were more than he could take in.  Brothers and sisters we live in a world that has this weight daily and we have been called to visit and care for such people (James 1:25-26).  In doing so we are living examples of people who are sharing Christ with them.  Secondly, Job did not want to swallow the fact that God was against Him.  His friends kept on saying, “God is against you,”  Job would rather die than to be out of fellowship with God.  Thirdly, Job was struggling to swallow the type of friendship he was receiving.  “To him who is afflicted, kindness should be shown by his friend.”  Hard times are so much easier to swallow when you have a true friend walking with you.  Such people are like a glass of water with a bitter pill.  It goes down so much easier.

These things alone are hard enough to swallow, however there is more.  Job looked at his future and only saw more of the bitter pills to swallow, he would have been willing for God to crush him.  If he could have only heard the words of the Psalmist, “why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise Him, my salvation, and my God,” Psalm 42:5.

In chapter seven of the book of Job it seemed as if Job had no hope. But there was and there is hope in God.  Maybe you are facing a hard to swallow time in your life?  If so, hope in God for He will see you through and you will have greater reason to praise His name.

Maybe you have friends who are facing a hard to swallow time?  If so, be sensitive to what they are facing and become engaged in their hard to swallow moment.  You could be God’s glass of water for them!!!

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