So Satan went out from the presence of the Lord, and struck Job with painful boils from the sole of his foot to the crown of his head. And he took for himself a potsherd with which to scrape himself while he sat in the midst of the ashes. Then his wife said to him, “Do you still hold fast to your integrity? Curse God and die!” But he said to her, “You speak as one of the foolish women speaks. Shall we indeed accept good from God, and shall we not accept adversity?” In all this Job did not sin with his lips.
I thought I had come across the article accidentally, but perhaps the Lord had led me there for a reason. Her perspective was what drew me as she wrote about the events which had convinced her that Christianity was empty and false. I had to find out what would drive a Bible-believing, Christ-loving young lady away from the church where she had been molded into a woman of God. Hers was a rather tragic tale of personal and emotional injury, one which was by no means novel but nonetheless compelling. As I digested her story it all came together. She refused to follow and serve a God who would allow her to endure such pain without reaching down and saving her from that damage.
When Jesus was up on the cross He asked his Father why He had been forsaken. We say that is the moment when the Father turned his head because He could not watch the Son be crushed under the weight of the world’s sin. Yet, Jesus had to endure much more than that moment of not being able to see the Father’s face. He suffered an ordeal which appeared to show him left to his own without the Father’s protection or help, but Christ never responded in anger toward him. Although He had to suffer, it was his Father who was there with him giving him what He needed to endure that. He could either show anger because of the pain or give glory and honor because of the grace to get through the pain.
Job and his wife had differing perspectives on God’s role in our lives. She seemed to think that the evidence of his presence and his action is only blessing. Job, on the other hand, recognized that God allows and also causes all sorts of circumstances in our lives for his purposes. We cannot accept the move of God only when it pleases us but not when it challenges us or brings us growth through pain. Being angry at God for the necessary unpleasantness can lead us to simply write off his work completely and write him off as well. Father, teach us to accept and honor both the pleasant and the painful which You allow and bring for your purposes.