Studying the book of Job in devotion this week. Yesterday in Job 3, he was infected with painful sores over his entire body. Which made the pity party about the fact that my self inflicted, can’t feel my legs, might fall off the toilet when I try to sit kind of soreness is clearly a trivial reality. Love that about scripture, it gives us the smack down and quick. Curse the day you ever existed kickboxing and teacher who made me do it! HA!
Back to Job. He was already suffering, he had lost everything except his health and now illness strikes. The scripture tells us all this hardship was being driven by Satan and in fact a conversation was being had between God and Satan. He wanted to prove Job would abandon faith in his God when life got hard. God didn’t cause the hardship to happen but he permitted it. I can bet by the end of Job it was ultimately turned for good. More on that to come.
For now we are in Job 3. He doesn’t know these conversations are happening in the spiritual realm. All he knows is that he has lost his family, his livelihood and now he is painfully ill. Job did not curse God at the first strike when everything and everyone was wiped out around him. Will he do it now? The chapter describes the heart wrenching cries of Job…He screams out, why was I ever born? If my God hates me this much, why did the Creator make me and send me here? The world would have been better off without me.
Job 3:23 ~ Why is life given to those with no future, those destined by God to live in distress?
These are some powerful questions Job is crying out to God. He is not cursing Him but he is now cursing his existence. He is telling God he made a mistake creating him, creating his life. Ugh! I was in tears yesterday because we have the benefit of reading the first two chapters and the rest of the Job’s book. But he didn’t. I wrote down these notes about what is going on so far:
- God says: My child loves me, fears his Lord and shuns evil. He is good, loved by me and he will endure.
- Job says: I’m forgotten & abandoned, flawed and shouldn’t have ever lived.
Those are two very different perceptions. Had Job known the battles happening beyond his understanding he would have known God was in control of what he was enduring. That in itself gives the strength to love ourselves just as God loves us no matter the difficulties. Don’t just sit there and wish to die, accept help.
Ever been in a place feeling just like Job? I know I have and it is awful. I’m hesitant to write about it because often the world puts its judgements and perceptions on it but those are projections and the emotions it evokes. There are also hurting people who may not have a bible to read about Job. People who might not realize they are not alone in this feeling. So I feel moved by the spirit to write today.
I would love to say I didn’t curse God just as Job did not succumb to cursing Him. But I was very close to that sin…I guess it is up for interpretation but I definitely did not want anything to do with God. I most certainly felt exactly like Job 3:23. My family begged me to go to church, to pray for myself, to pray with them for myself and I would not do it for days. Because Job 3:23 was my story and I was sticking to it. The message of Job 3 spoken by the world around us, it must be true.
So there I was stuck in Job 3 and if you people don’t like it then leave me alone and save your own darn lives. It must have been their persistence and their prayers but at some point I got up and went to church. Reluctantly but I went and God made sure the message pierced my brain. It empowered me to endure but I had to make the choice to believe and trust Him. Even if I felt like it was just an invisible Him to hold to, that was what to trust.
With that trust Satan has no power that can’t be overcome in our lives with God. That illness, that job loss, the house lost, that flaw, that mistake, that struggle…it isn’t happening because we aren’t loved, because we deserved it or because we should not have lived. But God gives the choice to us to tell Satan where to shove it. Whether or not we embrace God or curse Him in the struggle is our decision.
We are not wrong or flawed or destined to be bad. When we say this we are feeling just like Job in a chapter of a book not finished by a narrator who is in complete control. A narrator I might add, who loves us beyond our comprehension. So pause and remember what God says…
I promise you this friends. The minute we embrace and I mean really grasp it with our entire being, is the minute everything changes. God will wrap His arms around us like we’ve never felt wrapped before. He is our shield and our defender. He equips and empowers with His full armor of protection and the only way Satan gets through is with God’s permission and even then, God is there.
Loved By Grace,