Saturday, December 8, 2007

Lessons from Job

It has been interesting to me how many people have sent me Bible verses from the book of Job. Now if we want to talk about suffering, Job went through it all! Thankfully I cannot even begin to compare the two. God took EVERYTHING from Job and Job was faithful. It has been in reading this book however that I have learned that though Job was faithful he struggled. He was human and often times what he was feeling in his heart did not match up with what was going on in his head. He got angry with god and felt very targeted. This passage is especially powerful in showing Job's heart ache in his struggles. He also felt great injustice. It reminded me tha when I am feeling these things I need to take them up with God himself. It is okay to yell at God ad get upset. He wants to know what is in our hearts.

1 "My soul loathes my life; I will give free course to my complaint, I will speak in the bitterness of my soul. 2 I will say to God, 'Do not condemn me; Show me why You contend with me. 3 Does it seem good to You that You should oppress, That You should despise the work of Your hands, And smile on the counsel of the wicked?Job 10:1-3 (NKJV)

I also know that when I was at my worst after losing Isaac it was my friends and family who pulled me to Jesus when I was to weary to get there myself. I have spoken of the story of the lame man and how his friends carried him to Jesus when he couldn't get there himself. So many people have said that they don't know what to say to me or how to help and I think anytime we have a loved one who is suffering through a rough patch in life we should all refer to this passage in Job:11

Now when Job's three friends heard of all this adversity that had come upon him, each one came from his own place--Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite, and Zophar the Naamathite. For they had made an appointment together to come and mourn with him, and to comfort him. 12 And when they raised their eyes from afar, and did not recognize him, they lifted their voices and wept; and each one tore his robe and sprinkled dust on his head toward heaven. 13 So they sat down with him on the ground seven days and seven nights, and no one spoke a word to him, for they saw that his grief was very great.Job 2:11-13 (NKJV)

When Job's friends heard of his troubles and struggles they just scheduled time to be with him. I find it interesting we also bought a new Rob Bell DVD the other day entitled Matthew. It is a story of grief and mourning and in the DVD Rob Bell speaks of the tradition in those days to just sit with a person in silence. Friends would just go sit with friend who was struggling and physically BE. They waited and let the person experiencing the grief take the lead. If they wanted to talk that was fine but if not they just sat in silence and the person knew they were loved.

The reality of the situation is that there is no quick fix. There is nothing anyone can say that will make it better. Job's friends sat with him in silence for 7 days! I don't think I could handle that. Everyone struggles with what to say to a friend who is hurting but often the best thing we can do is say nothing. We can quote Bible verses or share what we feel might be similar experience but often that can make a person feel worse. You see, in my case, my head already knows all of these things. My heart is struggling immensely. I know that God says not to worry and to put my faith in him, I know he works all things out for good, I know that no struggling happens without reason. My heart cannot help but feel broken and wonder as to why I need to learn another lesson!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I really love the insight there, and yes we are all human you are allowed to feel these emotions that you are going through. I love the fact that Job's friends just sat with him, letting him know they cared, and loved him. Happy is in our prayers daily and I really pray that God will help your heart not struggle so much, I pray he will give you peace, and I really hope his will for this situation is one of a wonderful outcome. I don't know if you have heard the song by Casting Crowns its called "Praise you in this storm" I know it helped me to try and keep my focus on the Lord in the midst of my troubles.