So Satan left the Lord’s presence, and he struck Job with terrible boils from head to foot. Job scraped his skin with a piece of broken pottery as he sat among the ashes. His wife said to him, “Are you still trying to maintain your integrity? Curse God and die.” But Job replied, “You talk like a foolish woman. Should we accept only good things from the hand of God and never anything bad?” So in all this, Job said nothing wrong. Job 2:7-10 (NLT)
We’re learning lessons this week about suffering from a champion sufferer, Job.
Yesterday we learned (in the poor example of Job’s friends) that just because there’s a break in the conversation, that doesn’t mean it’s time to open your mouth and insert your foot. Imagining you speak for God is worse than foolish – it is damaging to those who are waiting for any word of hope or relief. We learned – don’t speak for God.
Mrs. Job took one look at her formerly powerful, now pitiful husband, and told him to forget everything he ever believed about God and just end it all…die…fall on the sword! Job looked up from his pain and growled, You talk like a foolish woman!
(He had to be in a lot of pain…no husband in his right mind talks like that to his wife if he values his life; unless it’s by cell phone).
Job’s wife wasn’t just being sarcastic with her advice; she probably could not stand to see her man suffering. He had every imaginable kind of pain – physical, emotional, relational, financial and family. He’d lost everything in his life except the boils.
With so much of mankind’s humanitarian efforts over the centuries aimed at alleviating pain and suffering, you have to know we take that seriously; and so did Job’s wife.
She took it seriously; but she took it beyond her understanding.
So often we are tempted to offer quick solutions, based on so-called wisdom. It’s fine to offer solutions, but if it is to be a wise solution, it must be based on what God says. The prophet Zechariah warned, "Be still before the Lord, all mankind..."
God has the last word (no matter what), and we are wise to hear it BEFORE we make our plans firm, or our speeches heard. David had a wonderful intention to build the Lord a temple. He only wanted to honor the God who had been so faithful to him. The only problem was it was not God's plan for David to build that temple. Don't speak for God, or before God speaks.
When you’re up against it, patience is God’s way. Often it’s not the easiest way, but we are called to be His, to trust Him in the worst of times, as well as when the sun is shining.
Remember that when Satan whispers “suicide” in your ear. It won’t sound foreboding like the sound of SUICIDE; it will sound much friendlier, dignified, or even trendy. There will be plenty of platitudes to support putting an end to the pain.
· God really wouldn’t want you to suffer like this, would he?
· You don’t have to suffer; this makes no sense – you deserve better.
Some pain is inexplicable, unimaginable and seems so unendurable.
But at the end of the day life is worth even that; and that is how precious YOUR life is to your Heavenly Father. He should know; He suffered the cross FOR your life.
For You, Today…
If you’re up against it – so much pain you don’t think you can hold on.
Call a friend, your pastor, a neighbor; they won’t have all the words but they don’t need words; they simply need to be able to sit with you through the pain.
My friend in pain, sit still and wait for God to speak.