Not Job

The last few weeks have been some of the most painful in my entire life. Worse than when my first pregnancy ended in miscarriage…worse than when subsequent babies died…worse than when my sister died and we were abruptly reassigned. Pain I didn’t know could be experienced has overwhelmed my world. And new injuries are coming almost every day. It has been emotionally, mentally, spiritually, even physically exhausting.

In the process of seeking the Lord (because I absolutely can not cope with this on my own) Job has come to mind. But, perhaps, not for the reasons you may be thinking.

A cursory reading of Job will provide some powerful passages and examples on how to deal with adversity and grief. Yet, it is the opening chapter to which I want to draw your attention. After God gives Satan permission to “stretch out [his] hand and touch all that he has”, Satan does!

Verse thirteen says that Satan picked a day when Job’s children were having a great time partying at the oldest brother’s house. Who knows what the weather was like…the kids were partying, it probably wasn’t too bad…but Satan unleashed a storm of epic proportion. First, Sabeans took Job’s oxen and donkeys, killing all but one servant, who brought news to Job. Scripture says “while he was yet speaking” another servant brought more bad news; all of Job’s sheep and the servants tending them, save one, had been consumed by “fire from heaven”. “While he was yet speaking” another servant came and described how a Chaldean raiding party had come and stolen the camels, killing all those who cared for them except one. And while he was still speaking a servant came to deliver the final blow…his seven sons and three daughters were dead, killed in a freak wind storm that destroyed the home they were in.

Even with giving a generous twenty minutes for each servant to bear bad tidings, Job received news that his fortune and family were completely decimated in just over an hour?! And then, because of the man that he was, Scripture says Job “tore his robe and shaved his head and fell on the ground and worshiped. And he said, ‘Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I shall return. The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.’ In all this Job did not sin or charge God with wrong.” Job 1:20-22 ESV

After Job’s entire life had been destroyed, he fell on the ground and worshiped. Wow. That is not the response I’ve had. When I’ve been driven to the ground, it has been in pain and grief…it has been to cry out in misery. It hasn’t been to worship. And while I wasn’t there and can’t speak to Job’s state of mind, I’m not thinking this was a “sacrifice” of praise, either. It sounds like his natural reaction was simply to praise God!! Wow.

I am not Job. I am so not Job. On one hand, that makes me very happy, because it doesn’t take very long to recognize that his life is not one I’d like to experience?! Yes, he had way more wealth than I can imagine, and God restored both his wealth and his family. But the journey he took, the abandonment by his friends, the rejection and blaming he experienced, even his own wife begged him to “curse God and die” because watching him suffer was so awful.

On the other, though, I recognize that God has never had a conversation with Satan about me this way, because I’m not Job. According to chapter one verse one, Job was “blameless and upright, one who feared God and turned away from evil.” Job 1:1 ESV

I am not Job.

Through this process of experiencing more pain than I realized was possible, God has given me a sneak peek into my unregenerated heart. It is ugly! And Hell hath no fury like a woman spurned, even (or especially?) if that woman is a mama. Some of what I’ve seen in my heart is ugly ugly ugly!! Most people would probably think of me as a fairly good person, a good Christian, a good missionary. I don’t drink or smoke or chew or spend much time with those who do. But my home will never be on the cover of Better Homes & Gardens. Martha Stewart will never feature my home or ideas on her network. We’ll never have a reality show like the Duggers (though people have suggested it…but ours would be a tragic comedy along the lines of AFV meets Duck Dynasty, punctuated by screams or panic attacks or old fashioned tantrums…sometimes by Mommy, lol). In the end, though, however good somebody looks (or doesn’t look), God’s Word is true, in our flesh dwells no good thing.

Yet, in spite of what ugliness dwells in the deep recesses of our hearts, ugliness we ourselves may not recognize (we certainly won’t want to!!),

God’s love is bigger…

God’s love is stronger…

God’s love is better…

And He is enough…

Enough to care for Job in his grief and pain.

Enough to carry me in mine…

and you in yours,

especially because we don’t deserve it…


4 thoughts on “Not Job

  1. I also have experienced the loss of a child, father, brother, 2 brother-in-laws. All were very painful but the Lord helped me through, he held my hand and brought many wonderful caring followers to help me with my financial needs when my husband left after 22 years or marriage with 2 teenagers and no job experience. When I look back the Lord protected me even before I knew Him personally. The Lord has brought You and your family into my life for this season.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s