Dear Job, I read halfway through your story and I am compelled to write you this letter. In some ways, I feel a connection to your experience that inspires me to look at my life and God differently. While reading about the loss of your wealth, children and health I selfishly began thinking about my losses and suffering. But truth be told, my suffering cannot compare to the severe anguish you experienced. In your frailty you complained to God, failing to comprehend how a man of your integrity could be given this portion. I can’t say I blame you though—I probably would have complained too. But you need to know that you weren’t alone.
Job, God was proud of you. He chose you to endure testing… Yes, I know that doesn’t sound like a privilege but it is. It makes me think of a man that would come to earth thousands of years after you. A man named Jesus, who was chosen to endure suffering for the salvation of the world. I would be remiss not to mention that Jesus was a man but He was also God. Job you are in good company. Many that came after you suffered, like David, Jeremiah, Paul, John and Jesus—but God was always present.
In the midst of your suffering a couple of friends, Eliphaz, Bildad and Zophar, came to visit. You charged them of causing more grief than comfort. They reasoned that your suffering was provoked by your own sins. This was their human mind trying to comprehend the ways of a divine God. If only they understood that suffering is not punishment. I can imagine you feeling betrayed, slandered and misunderstood. Your patience ran cold as they spewed false accusations at you. Their words were salt to your open wounds causing the pain to linger on.
Remember Jesus, He also had some similar experiences. For three years, He traveled all over Israel performing miracles. After encountering Jesus, the blind would see, the lame leaped and the broken was made whole. He calmed the storms raging on the seas while His disciples watched fearing for their lives. Yet even Jesus, the Son of God, was accused and betrayed at the hands of His friends. Those same people who witnessed His miracles yelled “crucify Him” as Jesus meekly stood before the crowd. To make matters worse, Judas His disciple betrayed Him with a kiss that led to His crucifixion. In your life and that of Jesus, the truth remained—God was there the entire journey.
Even in your humiliation when you searched for answers and presented your case—God was there. As it was for you so it was for Jesus, God’s presence did not mean relief from the suffering. You and Jesus taught me two vital lessons, God is dependable and all-knowing. We go our entire lives looking for acceptance from people, a pat on the back or a well done. When the truth is all those things are as a dried up brook. What we desperately need can only come from the fountain of living water—God. Jesus’ life, death and resurrection show us how to rely on the ways of the fountain of living water and not our own.
When we go through life seeking from people what they were never intended to give us, we will come up empty. Drawing from a brook whose water runs dry will always leave us thirsty. Job, we must acknowledge that God is good. He knows all things and does all things well. Holding to the truth that He loves us and promises to be our refuge, in the time of trouble. We shouldn’t draw from the scorched brook of our understanding. Instead, we assure ourselves that His promises are true regardless of what our situations tell us. I can’t look to myself or others for answers; I have to look to God. I put my trust in the fact that even if I don’t know why— I do know God! I know that the fountain of living water will fill and satisfy my life. Job, your experience proved to me that our life and its mysteries are found in God and Him alone! There is so much more we can talk about…but until next time.
With humblest regards, A Woman learning to trust God