Journal Proverbs 30 (all references are from the ESV; changes in punctuation are mine)
Scripture: “The man declares, ‘I am weary, O God; I am weary, O God, and worn out. Surely, I am too stupid to be a man.
I have not the understanding of a man.
I have not learned wisdom, nor have I knowledge of the Holy One.
Who has ascended to heaven and come down? Who has gathered the winds in his fists? Who has wrapped up the waters in a garment? Who has established all the ends of the earth?
What is his name, and what is his son’s name? Surely you know! Prov 30:1-4
Observation: Despondency. Desperation. Weariness. These are three words that come to mind thinking about this section of Proverbs. The “man” could be me…
Analysis: Every so often I succumb to being despondent.
As much as I try to pursue God, putting my foot one before the other, sometimes I just get weary. Tired. “Why am I doing this? Why do I keep trying?”
I believe the above addresses the necessity of perseverance to the end. But it also addresses the inevitability of internal conflict and temporary hopelessness that a person can experience.
David reflected on the need of his soul to be comforted, encouraged, exhorted in many Psalms, like 42: “Why are you downcast O my soul…” Job talks about the anguish of his soul and that he will not keep his mouth shut (Job 7:11). Paul writes to the church at Corinth about himself and his posse: “But God, who comforts the downcast, comforted us by the coming of Titus…” (2 Cor 7:6)
The point is that being downcast, despondent, desperate, weary does happen to those who call on the Name of Jesus. Always? Maybe not, but the biblical record shows a consistency of testimony.
Agur is not Solomon. I don’t know who he is. But the 30th chapter of Proverbs is part of the Canon for a reason. He testifies of his own heart and countenance in a way that can resonate with people like me.
Remedy? Two or three things come to mind: 1) Draw near to God. Easy to write, sometimes hard to do. 2) Phone a friend and be transparent. Don’t despise reproof. Don’t ignore the arm around the shoulders either. 3) Praise God. Scripture doesn’t refer to it as a “sacrifice of praise” for nothing….
Prayer: Father, I often reflect on the statement that David makes, “Why are you downcast, O my soul? Hope again in God for I shall indeed praise Him…” The image is David pulling his heart out of his chest and shaking it in front of him and telling it off. And then, engaging his head in the objective truth of the Scriptures and refusing a place for his feelings.
I wish I could do that more often. It seems like it gets more difficult the older I get. So much conspires against growing in maturity these days, especially with the quarantine. What is the answer, O Lord? AMEN.