Daily Dose, Sept. 14 — Singing the Blues

 

Then Job answered the Lord: “I know that you can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted. “Who is this that hides counsel without knowledge?’ Therefore, I have uttered what I did not understand, things too wonderful for me, which I did not know. ‘Hear, and I will speak; I will question you, and you declare to me.’ I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees you; therefore, I despise myself, and repent in dust and ashes.”  (Job 42:1-6)

I’ll be the first to admit: When I’m feeling down and low, the book of Job isn’t typically the first place in the Bible to which I turn. If you’re not familiar with the entirety of the story in Job, it goes something like this: Job is a healthy, wealthy and righteous man. Satan (literally, “the adversary”) wants to prove that Job’s righteousness is only the result of the abundance with which he’s been blessed. God allows Satan to challenge his theory by allowing for Job’s health, wealth and abundance to be taken away.

Job’s friends wander by and offer counsel, not all of it very helpful or fruitful. In his despair, Job even goes so far as to curse the very day that he was born. There is so much that has happened in his life that he doesn’t understand, and he seems to get no answers or direction from God. Eventually, Job’s perseverance is honored by God’s listening ear and by answers to Job’s prayers.

Job’s story has become a cultural reference even to people who don’t profess faith. If someone has had a really difficult season of life, they may be said to have endured the “sufferings of Job.” Or, if they’ve persevered through many difficult trials, they may be said to have the “patience of Job.”

At the end of Job — in chapter 42 — we see the main character come to realization that there are things of God that he simply does not — and perhaps cannot — understand. It is an acknowledgement of things being restored to their proper order. God is God, and we are not. Sometimes, I’ve found that simply reminding myself of that simple fact can restore things to equilibrium when I’m feeling down and low. I trust God, and I trust that God is good. Even when it may not seem like it. — Rev. Brad Greene