This is what the Lord says: If you repent, I will restore you that you may serve me; if you utter worthy, not worthless, words. – Jeremiah 15:19a

The Limit of Words

Have you ever been at a loss for words? Needed to pray in a tough situation and couldn’t find the words? Can words explain the depth of your love for your spouse, parent, child or sibling? Or can they begin to describe the intensity of grief at the loss of one of these same people?

No, words sometime fall short. Consider Job, arguably the most profound story of human suffering ever told. This righteous man loses material possessions, servants, children, health, and ultimately, the support of friends.

Initially, suffering silences him. But Job grows agitated and seeks answers to his growing anguish. God answers Job, yet not at all in the manner Job expected. God doesn’t explain himself nor does he explain to Job why he’s in this situation. In fact, he counters Job’s “why” questions with “who” answers. God shows up, and Job’s questions suddenly seem out of order. In humility and awe, Job says, “I will put my hand over my mouth in silence. I have said too much already. I have nothing more to say.” (Job 40: 4-5).

What problem has been weighing heavily upon you? I suggest you write it down, put your pen away, close your eyes, bow your head, and be still in God’s presence. Let God know you trust him regardless of your limited perspective. Like Job, our “why” questions often mask deeper questions—questions that require “who” answers. Why is never the right question to ask God. God is God, and he’s enough for us. Let his presence give you peace that transcends your ability to articulate it with words.

– Steve Arterburn

I find that doing the will of God leaves me no time for disputing about His plans. – George MacDonald