Was Jōb One of My Grandfathers?
Since developing [maybe not the right word, but I am going with it] this disease I have turned to the book of Jōb in the Bible. One might ask why? Well, each of us, that has had our body seemingly turn against us, will understand some of the suffering he went through. Bear with me, please. It is late and I am having discomfort and cannot rest. I promise not to post until I can proof-read and see if any of it makes sense.
First, we can talk about the losses that Jōb went through. His body was attacked, but first he lost his family and then his standing in the community. Then even before that, he lost his children and his flocks. If we look at what happened and compare it to our lives, we can see the similarities. But not to the extent that Jōb went through.
First comes the loss of children. All were gone in one instant. Then came the loss of wealth. His wife turns on him. His community turns on him. If you were like me, when your illness hit you, it takes some of these things from your everyday life. If we have little ones and we have Tarlov Cysts, then we are limited in how often we can hold those little ones. If they are teens, we all know that the world is supposed to revolve around teens, thus they get angry. Then sometimes our spouses can not handle the change in their life style and will desert us. Our family, sometimes, cannot understand that our illness has befallen us; not that we asked for it or we caused it. So, are we getting closer to changing our names to “Jōb”? Now let us think about wealth.
Wealth is achieved either through earnings or inheritance. We sometimes must cut our working hours in half, to even quitting our jobs. Since we may not be able to work, the amount of our bank accounts seems to get smaller and smaller. Also, think about all the medical tests and how much money those require. Think about the medicines and treatments that we go through before getting an educated diagnosis. Add the cost of surgery to help ease our discomfort. Do you feel the urge to change your name yet?
Now to the best part of this. Our friends! What is a friend for anyway, but to comfort us? Did Jōb’s? Heck no, they accused him of being a liar, a hypocrite, and having hidden sins. I mean the man’s skin is covered in bleeding, he is physically in distress which makes the mind distressed and what do they do? He is being attacked from all fronts.
It was custom for anyone who was visiting you, in a time such as he was going through, to just sit with you and be quiet. They would wait until the one in distress was ready to open up before they would speak. Boy how we could use that common courtesy today. Right? After a few days Jōb finally started bemoaning his trials, they let him speak but then they started in on the poor man. They blamed all that had befallen Jōb on Jōb! Yep, this had to be his fault and he needs to get on his knees and repent. They thought they knew all about God and how God works. Don’t fool yourself, none of us know His thoughts and should never profess we do.
So let me share some personal thoughts as I was reading the book of Jōb again. I started laughing at myself when I was reading his discourses. I thought to myself that he must be a great grandfather of mine. Surely that is possible since I am very sarcastic when need arises; and heck, lets add that I have several skin diseases on top of the Tarlov Cysts. I’m not bragging or anything like that, but that was what popped in my head.
So what did Jōb say?
In the first response to Eliphaz, Jōb says, “To him that is afflicted pity should be shewed from his friend; …” [6:14] That was a gentle rebuff to the friend for attacking his character. I know that there are times that each of us could say the words of Jōb when we are exhausted with our discomforts and pain. Though, not sarcasm, these words do sound like something I would say or think. “Are not my days few? cease then, and let me alone, that I may take comfort a little,” [10:20] Then when we hear all sorts of “try this” questions, I want to maybe add this to my repertoire of answers: “No doubt but ye are the people, and wisdom shall die with you. But I have understanding as well as you; I am not inferior to you: …” [12:2,3] Yep, a tidbit of sarcasm there. Then sometimes we might want to scream at people, “…ye are all physicians of no value. O that ye would altogether hold your peace! and it should be your wisdom.” [13:4,5] He also said, “I have heard many such things: miserable comforters are ye all. Shall vain words have an end? or what emboldeneth thee that thou answerest? I also could speak as ye do: if your soul were in my soul’s stead, I could heap up words against you, and shake mine head at you. But I would strengthen you with my mouth, and the moving of my lips should asswage your grief.” [16:2-5] (emphases placed by me)
Yep, I resonate with Jōb. I just wanted to share what made me laugh tonight and I hope it has given you a chuckle. Another thing that I learned tonight is that the readers in my Word program will not say “Jōb”, [ Iyov or Jōbe] but “job”. If you are curious then pick up a King James version of the Word and give Jōb a read. The book is full of understanding to those that question why suffering can attack the seemingly ‘good’ person. You can even find it on-line with explanations of what some of the statements and rebuttals mean. Just re-reading it can give me a lighter feeling about my discomforts and new normal.