“11What is my strength, that I should hope? and what is mine end, that I should prolong my life? 12Is my strength the strength of stones? or is my flesh of brass?” (Job 6:11,12)
In his state of wretchedness, Job welcomed the thought of death. His strength was gone. Did he really have hope of coming to the grave at a full age? What was the sense in prolonging life? His flesh was so weakened and his body so full of pain that he felt he had no more strength to fight his illness and no more strength to live. He had no expectations of being restored to health.
“Is not my help in me? and is wisdom driven quite from me? 14To him that is afflicted pity should be shewed from his friend; but he forsaketh the fear of the Almighty.” (Job 6:13,14)
These words seem to be a very strong rebuke from Job to Eliphaz. It is as if he is saying, “Do you think I do not know? Do you think my ability to reason has been taken from me as well? My wisdom is in me. Instead of teasing me with prospects of recovery and prosperity that I have no hope of attaining, you should have had pity on me. Pity should be shown to a friend who is in trouble. Instead, you have forsaken the fear of the Almighty and added to my torment by your thoughtless words.”
This rebuke from Job contains a good lesson for us. It gives us a look into the heart and thoughts of someone who is going through intense suffering. We cannot assume that we know how such a person feels. Unless we have walked in the same path as they, we cannot know what it is like. We should not tell the person, “Don’t worry. I’m sure things will get better. Just keep fighting.” Things may not get better, and he or she may have no more strength to keep fighting. The best thing to do is to just be there for that person and show him or her that you care. Many times there is nothing else you can do, and compassion is all the sufferer needs or wants.