“Therefore, I will not keep silent; I will speak out in the anguish of my spirit, I will complain in the bitterness of my soul. Am I the sea, or the monster of the deep, 
that you put me under guard? When I think my bed will comfort me and my couch will ease my complaint, even then you frighten me with dreams and terrify me with visions, 
so that I prefer strangling and death, rather than this body of mine.I despise my life; I would not live forever. Let me alone; my days have no meaning.”
 Job 7:11-16 (NIV)

In the world today, there is such a stigma that men aren’t allowed to share their emotions, feelings, or even voice that they aren’t doing well. Currently in 2024, 525,000 men die every year, 10,096 every week, 1,442 every day by suicide.  

Job questioned if he was a monster. As I read this I questioned, “How many men ask themselves if they are monsters?” How many are questioning that because they feel they are bad or they don’t understand where the intrusive thoughts, anger, or deep-seated fears are coming from?  

I wonder how many feel terrified or even that they would rather die than be where they are. Statistically, you see how many actually die by suicide, but those are just the ones who choose to act on their pain. How many more are suffering in silence, alone, and feel their days have no meaning?  

The world we live in isn’t always kind, easy, or gentle and that’s what Job was experiencing.   

Job spoke this to God and released his emotion; he felt he had to. The words of not wanting to be alive, the words too many men speak and/or act upon, can leave us all feeling like Job.  

I highlight these words in today’s Scripture because many times as Christians we use good Scripture to push past the feelings, trauma, and reality. The reality is life can be so gut-wrenching, so heartbreaking, and less than encouraging. The reality is that the expectations the world puts on men aren’t realistic.  

As we read Job and his words, it hit me. We cannot stay silent, nor can we allow our brothers who are struggling to be silent. It’s time to lift them up in prayer, to encourage, to edify, and to remind them they aren’t alone. 

It’s not unmanly to struggle. In fact, it is human. As we leave this right here, let’s take a moment of silence for those who are feeling like Job, those who acted on their feelings like Job considered, and let’s intercede for those thinking this is the end of their story. 

 As we read on in Job, we know it’s not done til it’s good. That’s the nature of our God. But for right now, let’s not run from the heartache or pain. Let’s sit in it together

If you are a brother in Christ and are struggling or needing help, please consider calling 988 for resources, or Lutheran Church of Hope at 515-222-1520 and asking for the Care Team.  

Questions for reflection: 

  1. As you read Job’s words today, could you relate to feeling this way at some point in your life? If so, how did you share your feelings?  
  1. As you read Job’s words and the statistics of men, did anyone come to mind that you should check on or show up for?  
  1. As you read today’s Word, is there anything stirring inside of you to lessen the burden of men in today’s world? If so, what has God placed inside of you to lessen the burden of fellow man?