That is exactly how I feel today, like Job has nothing on me.
Most of us know the story of Job, a pure and righteous man whom satan enjoyed putting to the test. In just one day Job lost his children, his job, and all his worldly possessions. As if that weren’t enough he ended up with boils from head to toe and a wife who’s only counsel was to “curse God and die” (Job 2:9). Then his three friends enter the picture. I am sure his friends meant well but their words missed the mark and Job was left hurting inside and out. He had plenty to be angry at God about and yet he held on to his integrity. So when I chose the title of this it was with a bit of tongue-and-cheek and the thought that many of us have felt like we could relate to Job at least from time to time.
As for me, I doubt that God has ever had the privilege to say that I am “pure and blameless.” I have made many mistakes in my journey of life. However, I am also sure that satan has tried many times to test and tempt me. I, unlike Job, have failed some of those tests but am learning more and more to depend on God to help me pass them. You see it is when we try to do things with our own wisdom that we fail. Take Job’s friends for instance. They were trying to do what was right. They came to Job in his time of need. They mourned with him and set aside their responsibilities to just be a friend. So far they were on the right track. But after seven days they begin to speak to Job. Their intentions are good but it seems to me that they do not seek God’s will. I can just imagine them sitting there all those days just using all of their strength to keep quiet. The Bible does not say that they prayed with Job only that they wept aloud at the sight of him and then sat on the ground with him. (Job 2:11-13) But next, Job speaks and curses the day that he was born, Eliphaz seizes the opportunity to speak to Job and each of the friends follow suit. Again, their intentions were good but they did not depend on God for their wisdom and they did not turn Job toward God but instead wondered aloud what he had done to bring this upon himself. Later in chapter 42 of Job we are told that the Lord speaks to Eliphaz and says, “I am angry with you and your two friends, because you have not spoken of me what is right...” Eliphaz and his friends did not lean on God to lead them in their quest to help their friend and because of that they failed.
How many of us can relate to that? There are many places in the Bible where God is referred to as, “The Great Comforter” and yet when we need comfort or need to comfort others, God is often the last person we turn to. Sometimes it is busyness that keeps us from praying, but often it is our own anger with God that holds us back.
Today has been one of the hardest days of my life and I will admit that I am angry at God. My sweet nephew, who has lived with us since birth, was returned to the home of his father. My heart has been torn into a million pieces as I was forced to let go of this precious baby boy and walk away. The best way I can describe it is that I feel like my baby has been on life support and today it was unplugged. It is a gamble, maybe he will thrive on his own without the support of the machines (me and my family) and maybe he will not. Either way there is absolutely nothing I can do about it. I can only "Be still and know that He is God." So today I feel a lot like Job, broken but still trusting, or at least trying to.
How about you? What is your Job story? I would love to hear it and I promise I will try to do a bit better than Job's well meaning friends at listening!