After Junior year of high school, I had aspirations to leave JV sports behind and reach new heights with varsity football. There were only two problems:
1) I was 5'6
2) I weighed 160
I remember hitting the gym hard that offseason and completely changing my diet in an effort to gain healthy weight and muscle.
Every morning, I ate four eggs without salt or seasoning, whole grain oatmeal without sugar, and a side of fruit. For snacks, I had a protein shake and saltless almonds, prepping me for a lunch which consisted of two chicken breasts, broccoli, and more fruit... all without salt/seasoning or condiments.
These new meals tasted awful, but the progress was worth it. Within a few months, I had gained 12 pounds and was seeing muscle gains in the weight room.
The Heart of a Sufferer
In the Old Testament, Job is an individual who found favor in God's eyes because he was blameless and unlike anyone else on earth (see Job 1). God grants satan permission to test Job, which resulted in pain, loss, trauma, suffering, depression, and chaos.
Shortly after his suffering occurs, Job begins venting to God regarding his situation.
Don’t people complain about unsalted food? Does anyone want the tasteless white of an egg? - Job 6:6
Wait... salt-free egg whites? What on earth do eggs have to do with suffering and why is Job using this metaphor while venting with God?
I'm so glad you asked.
What's Better Doesn't Always Taste Better
It's true, salt-free egg whites and sauceless-chicken-breasts don't dominate the leader boards for "greatest taste." But the benefits of eating them far outweigh the suffering your tastebuds endure.
This is why Job uses this metaphor in regards to his own suffering. While people too often complain about unsalted food, people also too often complain about the trials and tribulations they are experiencing.
Why is that the case when we know that egg whites and suffering will both be used for good?
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. - Romans 8:28
Don't Give Up
We have the blessing of knowing the end of Job's story, but Job didn't. Job didn't know that God would double his blessings and reward him for his patience and faith during his times of trials. Job didn't know that his suffering would be used for good.
Job didn't know, but he trusted that God was faithful.
I want to encourage you to never give up. If you are in a season of salt-free egg whites and suffering, I want to encourage you to stay strong, believing the things you know to be true:
- The Lord will never forsake you (Deuteronomy 31:8)
- The Lord is your is your helper (Hebrews 13:6)
- The Lord is with you (Joshua 1:9)
- The Lord cares for you (1 Peter 5:7)
Regret lasts longer than adversity. I promise you that the valley will be worth the mountain top of blessings that God has in store for you. Stay strong, and never give up.