Despite all he has been through, Job continues to show glimpses of hope. He knows that humans are as frail as flowers or blades of grass that wither and die Even the trees, when cut, can continue to blossom, but humans, once cut down, never live again. Yet Job believes there may be a time when God will remember him, asking that he be hidden in Sheol from God’s wrath until God longs to see him again. “I know that my redeemer lives,” he cries with the hope that one day he will be bought back from the brink of death and restored to life. Sometimes this hope that things will get better is all we can cling to.
Several years ago, semicolon tattoos started popping up all over the world. The story behind it is inspiring. Founder Amy Bleuel suffered from depression, bullying, rejection, the suicide of her father, self-injury, addiction, abuse, and rape. Despite her struggles, she continued to hope. In spring 2013, to honor her father whom she lost to suicide, she started Project Semicolon. “A semicolon is used when an author could've chosen to end their sentence, but chose not to. The author is you and the sentence is your life.” The movement has caught fire and people all over the world are getting semicolon tattoos as conversation starters to raise awareness of mental illness and reduce the stigma. Suffering is a universal experience. Hope is, too. Job’s prayer of hope was necessary to help him hang on until that day when his suffering would come to an end and he could look on God’s face once again with hope and joy.
Job 14:7-15; 19:23-27
“For there is hope for a tree, if it is cut down, that it will sprout again, and that its shoots will not cease. Though its root grows old in the earth, and its stump dies in the ground, yet at the scent of water it will bud and put forth branches like a young plant. But mortals die, and are laid low; humans expire, and where are they? As waters fail from a lake, and a river wastes away and dries up, so mortals lie down and do not rise again; until the heavens are no more, they will not awake or be roused out of their sleep. Oh that you would hide me in Sheol, that you would conceal me until your wrath is past, that you would appoint me a set time, and remember me! If mortals die, will they live again? All the days of my service I would wait until my release should come. You would call, and I would answer you; you would long for the work of your hands.
“O that my words were written down! O that they were inscribed in a book! O that with an iron pen and with lead they were engraved on a rock forever! For I know that my Redeemer lives, and that at the last he will stand upon the earth; and after my skin has been thus destroyed, then in my flesh I shall see God, whom I shall see on my side, and my eyes shall behold, and not another. My heart faints within me!"