Charging God with Wrong

I have enjoyed my first day home from the hospital. Last night late my home care nurse paid us a visit to get me going on my first home antibiotic dose. This is the third time I have done home infusion, and this is the third method we have found for doing home infusion. I guess that keeps you on your toes. The good thing is that I avoided a PICC line, but will require more nursing visits to change out the peripheral line every three days.

I have taken it easier today and tried to get as much rest as possible. This afternoon my mother and her friend Sue came for a visit. We enjoyed a nice mid-afternoon lunch. Before she went home we were able to cut some of our roses that are in full bloom. I shouldn’t mention that I got myself stuck in the rocks of the flowerbed and probably punctured a drip line for the roses, but I am thankful for Dom our neighbor coming right over to help us out. I think this is the fourth time, I’ve gotten myself stuck, but who is counting? I think Debbie is! So I promised that it would be the last time.

BIBLE VERSE FOR TODAY… “Then Job arose and tore his robe and shaved his head and fell on the ground and worshiped. And he said, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.”In all this Job did not sin or charge God with wrong.”                 Job 1:20-22

Family, wealth and health. These three constitute our life; the quality of life, the ability to enjoy life and the connection to our lineage that makes life worth living. Job in the end lost all three. Or I should say that Job lost all of these and because of His faithfulness to God, in the end they were all restored in abundance.

The first phase of loss, Job lost his children, servants and his wealth. His wife would soon call on him to curse God and die. I used to be hard on Job’s wife until, I learned from my illness the stress and toll hardship can take on family members, especially a spouse. Job’s wife’s response was probably more normal than not.

Job’s response is instructive. His well known response in verse 22, can make it sound like Job, “just took everything in stride.” But we see that he showed the signs of intense grief, yet in his grief he turned to the Lord. Out of his focus on the Lord we see that he hung to that which is eternal, and he showed that what he had, even his own children, he held loosely. He recognized all that he had came from God. He realized that God gives, God takes, but in it all God is to honored.

What caught my attention was the statement, “…Job did not sin or charge God with wrong.” When hardship comes in whatever form and in whatever intensity, it makes people vulnerable to become angry with God, which is often expressed in sinful behavior or to blame God for the source of their problems and failing to keep them from any harm, loss or difficulty.

I recall reading an account of a pioneer missionary over a hundred years ago who went to the Congo with a young wife. After his wife gave birth, she contracted malaria and died. The missionary gave his daughter to another missionary couple, returned to the U.S. and turned to a life of alcoholism, forbidding anyone to talk about God in his presence.

I recall visiting with a medical staff member during my initial hospital stay, who confessed to me that she was “still mad at God” over the death of her father. (I wanted to asked her, “how’s that working out for you?!” but kept my traumatic brain injury thoughts from being spoken out loud.)

Obviously the examples are endless. I just wanted to share these bookends to demonstrated that the challenge of a proper and healthy response to hardship and difficulties did not end with Job. Unfortunately, it seems the shipwrecks of faith outnumber those who strap themselves to the mast and ride out the storm to safety.

The bottom line to remember is that loss hurts, the pain is real, the grief must be confronted. It is okay to question, it is okay to be mad at God, He can handle it. But in the end after the storm waves begin to calm you can find assurance in the words of Job “…blessed by the name of the Lord” and the words or Peter, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.” (John 6:68) Jesus had no immediate family, He had no wealth; in the end He suffered gruesome torture and death as one betrayed and falsely accused; but God gave Him new life and God can do that for you.