When Words Fail Us

In my job I’m often in situations where I’m scrambling for the right words to say, write or preach. This is the case for all of us at varying degrees. 

How much of a burden this becomes will often depend on how we feel about the situation, the people we are trying to communicate with and our opinion of ourselves.

Recently it has struck me that one book in the bible, famous for being an insight into the realm of suffering is also a book about words, ours versus God’s. This book’s main character Job, is surrounded by friends but also eventually by words.

We also live in a world where we are surrounded by words. Advertising, reports, schedules, social media, new bulletins, web pages, radio, tv – words bombard us all the time. Thousands of words each day and that’s not including the words we communicate ourselves in speech, emails, social media etc. Of course communication is a normal part of life and a privilege as well as a necessity.

But what do we do when words fail us? What happens when we can’t soothe someone’s suffering because we don’t have the words? What happens when we fall short and aren’t able to communicate clearly what is on our heart or in our guts? What do we do with the sense of failure and desire to make amends? 

The story of Job builds, words keep failing human friends, words keep failing Job – these words can sound eloquent but they give little lasting wisdom or relief.

As you read on you sense someone is waiting to speak.

Someone whose words don’t and won’t fail him and who doesn’t fail to use words well. He won’t fail words and they won’t fail him. He is the master of words. His words have rich meaning. His words bring hope, peace, comfort and eternal relief. His words are final. His words will be a resting place for all who come to him and his words are rest for those who labor and are heavy laden.


Posted on May 19, 2016 and filed under Thoughts.