I can't stand my life - I hate it! -I'm putting it all out on the table, all the bitterness of my life - I'm holding back nothing."
Job prayed: "Here's what I want to say: Don't, God, bring in a verdict of guilty without letting me know the charges you're bringing.
How does this fit into what you once called 'good' - giving me a hard time, spurning me, a life you shaped by your very own hands, and then blessing the plots of the wicked?
You don't look at things the way we mortals do. You're not taken in by appearances, are you?
Unlike us, you're not working against a deadline. You have all eternity to work things out.
So what's this all about, anyway - this compulsion to dig up some dirt, to find some skeleton in my closet?
You know good and well I'm not guilty. You also know no one can help me.
"You made me like a handcrafted piece of pottery - and now are you going to smash me to pieces?
Don't you remember how beautifully you worked my clay? Will you reduce me now to a mud pie?
Oh, that marvel of conception as you stirred together semen and ovum -
What a miracle of skin and bone, muscle and brain!
You gave me life itself, and incredible love. You watched and guarded every breath I took.
"But you never told me about this part. I should have known that there was more to it -
That if I so much as missed a step, you'd notice and pounce, wouldn't let me get by with a thing.
If I'm truly guilty, I'm doomed. But if I'm innocent, it's no better - I'm still doomed. My belly is full of bitterness. I'm up to my ears in a swamp of affliction.
I try to make the best of it, try to brave it out, but you're too much for me, relentless, like a lion on the prowl.
You line up fresh witnesses against me. You compound your anger and pile on the grief and pain!
"So why did you have me born? I wish no one had ever laid eyes on me!
I wish I'd never lived - a stillborn, buried without ever having breathed.
Isn't it time to call it quits on my life? Can't you let up, and let me smile just once
Before I die and am buried, before I'm nailed into my coffin, sealed in the ground,
And banished for good to the land of the dead, blind in the final dark?"
Published by permission. Originally published by NavPress in English as THE MESSAGE: The Bible in Contemporary Language copyright 2002 by Eugene Peterson. All rights reserved. (The Message Bible Online)