I heard from a dear friend recently who told me she was losing her faith. That she had prayed and prayed about a broken marriage and the daily struggles, and God never once gave her what she prayed for. She wanted to quit on God, because He had not helped her...ever.
I get her.
I held the hand of a sweet little mother who had to say goodbye to a much longed for baby. The joy and excitement that came with being an expectant mother was stripped away by her God, in tears and pain. And as I sat with her and cried...she sighed and said "The Lord gives and the Lord takes away. Blessed be His name." Job 1:20
And I get her too.
One story breaks my heart in it's despair. It is so sad to see someone quit when you know the finish line is just around the bend.
The other story breaks my heart in it's beauty. In the complete surrender of a faith that can be tested in suffering and come out with gratitude.
How much I wish I could respond like the second woman all the time, but far too often I am the "doubter".
Most of us have heard of Job's wife- the Queen of Negativity. The ultimate "Debbie Downer", before SNL made THAT name popular. If you need a refresher, you can read about her here. The first couple of chapters are all you need to get the picture. Her husband was a righteous dude, she was rich, beautiful likely, with a gaggle of grown children who were the best.
And then God decides to prove a point, with her husband as the focus.
I remember the first few times reading that story and kind of scoffing at Job's wife. (Poor gal- no one even remembers her real name.)
I remember mocking her, as if she some how had acted unreasonably in the face of tragedy.
A decade or so later, I get her. Well, a decade and raising two teenagers helped me to "get her".
I think of her story...the wealth, the children, the LIFE that was stripped away. I think of her only recorded words, as she saw her husband sitting there- covered in nasty boils, with nothing but ashes on his head:
“Still holding on to your precious integrity, are you? Curse God and be done with it!” Job 2:9
Pretty harsh...but I get her.
What's pathetic is I have absolutely nothing to truly complain about. My life is awesome. Yet, if I chip a nail AND get stopped at a red light in the same hour- I'm distraught for the rest of the day.
We all have our "Job's wife" attitude at times. Thank God, that there are times we can have a "Job" attitude too. I just hope that I can respond more often as Job did. As that sweet little mother did.
When I break that darn nail, or when life is irrevocably altered..."Blessed be His name."