What do you do when it all seems to be for nothing?

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Fear can strangle you. Lies can put you in real danger. Truth can be a hurricane sweeping through and flattening everything you’ve worked to build. And you can be so overcome with the shadow of death that you stop bagging your tomatoes in the produce section and grind your teeth angry, determined to cut off whoever you must to get back some good, normal, happy life.

And what’s the point anyway?

Why the long days of bending low and praying hard and training the vine to grow the right way, if it’s all gonna just get ripped up at the roots and tossed in the gutter? What are we trying to love these people in our four walls for anyway? Is it a waste?

If the ones we love take our arms-open-wide efforts to be patient and kind, to point them to the truth and hold up life-giving boundaries and look us right in the eye and stab us right in the heart without a blink, was it all for nothing?

Maybe the old saying is true- If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em! But how do you join in destroying the good? How could that possibly be an alternative?

There are no sentences to write in response to these lamenting questions. Just silence. Just sitting with Job in the ashes and pain in silence. Just waiting. Just three dark days of waiting for the stone to be rolled away.

I am the man who has seen affliction
under the rod of God’s wrath.
He has driven me away and forced me to walk
in darkness instead of light.
Yes, he repeatedly turns his hand
against me all day long...
Yet I call this to mind,
and therefore I have hope:


Because of the Lord’s faithful love
we do not perish,
for his mercies never end.
They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness!
I say, “The Lord is my portion,
therefore I will put my hope in him.”


The Lord is good to those who wait for him,
to the person who seeks him.
It is good to wait quietly
for salvation from the Lord.
It is good for a man to bear the yoke
while he is still young.

Let him sit alone and be silent,
for God has disciplined him.
Let him put his mouth in the dust—
perhaps there is still hope.
Let him offer his cheek
to the one who would strike him;
let him be filled with disgrace.


For the Lord
will not reject us forever.
Even if he causes suffering,
he will show compassion
according to the abundance of his faithful love.
For he does not enjoy bringing affliction
or suffering on mankind.
- Lamentations 3:1-3, 21-33

“…and he will be mocked, insulted, spit on; and after they flog him, they will kill him, and he will rise on the third day.”

Jesus from Luke 18:32 CSB

One thought on “What do you do when it all seems to be for nothing?

Add yours

  1. This has given me hope when I most desperately needed it. Thank you for encouraging me to keep waiting on the Lord and for reminding me there is hope in Him.

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