The Hard Work of Being Job’s Wife
- Tuesday, September 13, 2011
These are the sorts of things that can either pile up on top of us, or single-handedly hit us, and reduce us to Job’s wife, making us ready to curse God and die.
About three years ago I was in my room with the door locked, lying on the floor sobbing my eyeballs out. I was shattered to pieces because I was overwhelmed with my circumstances -- but even more-so, I was broken-hearted because I was thinking about breaking up with God. It had already been a long year of excruciating pain and God wasn’t fixing the problems. So, basically, I was letting Him know that He was untrustworthy and I didn’t like the world He created.
I kept being reminded of Romans 8:28 and the promise that “all things would work together for good” but I didn’t care. It hurt too much right then. I was reminded of Job and how he suffered so worthily and how he would not blame God, and it made me feel even worse because it showed how much I was severely lacking. I was convinced I was unsaved. “Yes God, I’m unworthy. Yes God, it’s ALL about you and I’m just here to be a slave. Thanks for nothing. Why’d you have to even make me?”
And then I was reminded of the end of Job’s story. Do you know what happened? God blessed the latter days of Job even more than his beginning and gave him an overwhelmingly blessed future. And you know what? That made me down-right mad. And I cried out to God and said, “There is NOTHIING in the future that you could give me that could outweigh the absolute pain and misery I’m in RIGHT NOW… Heaven included!” I shudder to even write that out loud.
Oh my heck. Talk about a gracious God. Why didn’t he send the lightning and zap my faithless carcass to ashes at that moment? Side note: Thank God for the example of Peter who was so quick to deny His Lord and yet God still used him mightily to build His church. Amazing Grace.
There is no way I could have seen or understood it at the time, but now that I’ve passed through the ‘hell years’ I can see so much of what God was accomplishing. To be honest, I could see a lot of the good He was accomplishing even during those years, but it was like being in labor. You know how it hurts so much that it’s difficult to look forward to the blessing that will come at the end? “Just get that stupid baby out!” That’s how it was.
I thank Him for His patience and mercy. I thank Him more for the faith He gives, because there is no way I could have mustered up the trust to stay His child during ‘the years of hard labor’ on my own. You remember that day I was sobbing in my room? The next day things didn’t get any better. Matter of fact, over the next three years things got increasingly difficult. Oh those dreadful years! I was afraid that the trials would never end and that I would not have the strength to live the rest of my life in that agonizing state. I thought this was to be my new life forevermore – bad news after painful circumstances -- until I dropped into blissful death.
“Oh Job’s wife, whatever your name is, I so totally get you...”
And now I’ll mention that, ‘yes’, some of our trials did let up and God recently brought us a year of peace and joy that has been unparalleled. I look back at my ferocity and violent declarations that ‘no gift He had to offer could outweigh the pain I was in”. How utterly stupid. I was speaking in my anguish. He was rebuilding me into somebody totally new. Somebody who loves Him more and trusts him better. If we claim Christ, isn’t this what we say we truly want? But I don’t want to do more than mention that things got easier, because it’s not the point. Some trials may only last a short time – some very well may last a life-time. But that does not change the nature of God, nor diminish his Faithfulness, nor detract from His Goodness. He is a surgeon. And sometimes the cure is painful. But He knows what He is doing, and it is for our good. If you’re truly His, it won’t matter if you think you don’t want the cure. He is faithful to work out the things in our lives for our good and for His glory.
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