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“How I long for the months gone by, for the days when God watched over me,
When his lamp shone upon my head and by his light I walked through darkness!
Oh for the days when I was in my prime, when God’s intimate friendship blessed my house.”
Job: 29: 2-4
I hit the replay button over and over to hear one of my favorite singers use the laments of Job as lyrics to a song. What was wrong with me? Why did this melancholy song comfort me so? Surely a praise chorus should better lift my spirits.
Even so I hung onto every word as the lyrics flowed over me.
Finally it dawned on me: I was sharing the grief of an ancient man. Comradederie of sorrows, fellowship of sadness.
I lived through many trials in the last few years. Finances lost, children straying, chronic pain endured and status lost. Often explaining our last few years is so burdensome that my husband and I keep it to ourselves. Who can understand our sorrows?
Job can. He experienced some of our pain but magnified many times over. And somehow it comforted me to hear, through Joanie Mitchell’s song lyrics, his[CS1] eternal questions flung at God.
So I sing along, comforted I’m not alone in my hardship, and comforted that God isn’t shocked or even surprised at my questions. The problems don’t go away but they’re easier to bear.