Healing Power

Running commentary on how Jesus' Healing Power is affecting my life - and helping me to help others.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Thoughts on Job

That's Job (pronounced Jobe), not job (pronounced jawb).

Many people look to Job as the be-all end-all book on suffering. After all, who suffered more than Job? The book is his answer to his personal suffering, right?

Well, I don't think so. First, a little background. I was familiar with the book of Job. As a depressed high-schooler, many of my Christian friends suggested I read the book to put my life in perspective. I read the first three chapters and indeed, it put everything in perspective. I came away with the feeling that God really didn't care about us. After all, we were simply pawns in some cosmic chess game between the forces of good and the forces of evil. Didn't God place a bet on Job and allow Satan to do as he pleased?

I kept pointing to the book of Job as proof that we were nothing in God's eyes. It came to be my understanding that, though there was a God, and He came to us as Christ and gives each of us who ask His Holy Spirit, He really didn't give a flyin' flip about any of us.

Then, in January, 2002, I gave my life to Him. Shortly afterward, I lost my job (not Jobe, jawb). I was suddenly in a place where I needed to understand something, and again people began to recommend the book of Job. My folks asked me if I wanted to join them in a trip to California to visit my brother. My wife was overseas, my kid (at that time there was only one) was staying with her maternal grandmother, so I said, "Yeah!" On the way, I took the time and read all 42 chapters of the book of Job.

wowsers

As I read, I kept hearing all the things people had said to me, and that I'd said to and about God. But what really struck me was when God spoke to Job out of the whirlwind. "OK, you know so much about life and the nature of things, so tell me: Why did I design things the way I did? Can you play with sea monsters and give them to your daughters? Can you control the stars? Are you able to do any of these things"

I began to realize that, though I was a tiny player in a much larger 'cosmic' game - a game built by the Lord to destroy Satan - He still loved me dearly. Though the world come crashing down on me, He never promised me a good life; only a good afterlife. And much better than I can ever imagine.

In fact, the book of Job is not about Job or his suffering. It is about God. And the clue, again, came from the first three chapters. Yes, it was a cosmic bet. A gamble between two supernatural powers. A wager between the forces of good and the forces of evil. God had enough faith in Job to place his bet on him. God knew that, even though Satan would do his best to bring Job down, that Job would still come through. Satan thought betting on Job would be a long-shot. God knew it would be a sure thing.

And, in the end, God showed his infinite love for Job by restoring his wealth (twice over!) and his family. Though I gotta admit - what fun would it be for an old man to have to change diapers again?

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