Friday, August 14, 2009

2009 – Day 225.Aug 14 – A Plea for Understanding

Passage of the Day: Job 2: 1 – 10 … Linked for study …

My Journal for Today:
Chuck Swindoll’s devotional this morning is a good one and it’s needed to gain perspective on “Mrs. Job,” the wife of our hero, Job, who has been felled by physical affliction. Pastor Chuck is right that we have a tendency to think ill of Job’s wife, especially when we read Job’s heroic exhortation in verse 10 of Job 2.

Here we have the hero, taking all Satan has to dole out; and when Job’s wife can’t take any more, she would rather see her husband, whom she loves dearly, being taken to heaven by God rather than having to suffer the way he is suffering. Remember, she too has lost everything they, as a couple, had together, … INCLUDING her ten kids. Shouldn’t we have some sympathy for Mrs. Job? And this is especially true when Job seems to call her down for speaking as a “foolish woman.”

I totally agree with Swindoll that the characterization of Job’s wife is way out of the ordinary; and Swindoll depicts truth when looking at most human marriages. It is usually the case, and it is certainly the case in my marriage, that the wife can take on adversity more readily than her husband. As the good Pastor writes it, “… going through sustained hard times weakens most men. [But] For some reason, hardship seems to strengthen most women.” And he goes on to point out that in most instances men lose their objectivity and balance when confronted by material loss and/or physical pain. Yet, when they’re sustained by a strong mate, a dedicated and loving wife, they can hold up to the pressure. Without that kind of spousal support, however, most men will crumble. And here, in this mutual scenario in the life of Job and his wife, it is Job who holds on to God’s perspective and remains strong; and his wife is the one who seems to crumble. My fellow readers, Swindoll contends, and I agree, that this scenario/example is not the norm; and we shouldn’t be too hard on Job’s wife.

Recently I had a prime example of what we’re speaking about here. A dear brother in Christ, a dear friend of mine, is waning in pain and agony from cancer. About seven years ago he was given a prognosis of less than a year to live with kidney and lung cancer. But he is still with us. And during all of the horrible and painful radiation treatments and devastating chemotherapy he has endured, fighting his disease, this man has retained a smile on his face and has witnessed to God’s love and sustaining power. And he will readily tell you, as he did to his church elders this week (I, being one of them) that he could not have taken all of these toxic treatments if it hadn’t been for the strength and support of his little, but powerful, wife. And I believe, having the same kind of wife, this is the normal scenario.

BUT, that’s not the picture we see in Job and his wife; and I hope we can all see that Job had been given, by God, an extra dose of sustaining, enabling grace; and he becomes a super-human example of how we must intentionally choose to follow God through “the valley of the shadow of death,” as David wrote about in Psalm 23, leading us to the peaceful valley on the other side, that place where Job’s wife lovingly, I believe, wanted for her husband, seeing him suffer with all those boils and after having lost, together, their ten children.

Well, as we know, Job comes through round two of this beating from Satan in the ring of life; and somehow he’s able to have an unusually strong constitution for a man when compared to his wife. And so, let’s give Mrs. Job a break here and cut her some slack. Job is right in stating that they both needed to trust God in all that then had encountered. But I think that Job, being weakened by his physical condition, was a bit harsh is calling his wife “foolish” in what she declared in wanting his suffering to end.

Let’s just all learn that God can, with our humble faith, pour all the sustaining power we need to handle the adversities of life. And as I’ve said, that is the joint message of 1st Cor. 10: 13 and 2nd Cor. 12: 9, which are two verses I hope you know, believe deeply, and can recite in prayer when you face adversity as our hero Job has faced. God simply won’t put us into any tribulations or temptations which we can’t handle with His faithful help; and His grace is truly sufficient to allow Him to give us what we need from His power to cover our own weaknesses.

My dear one, I hope you can hold onto that truth as our role model Job does. We are going to face trials and troubles in our lives; and we need to follow our model, Job, and build a deep/abiding relationship with God which will sustain us when we face the troubled times in life. That’s why I come here to this place, my quiet time in God’s word, EVERY DAY. I’m not there yet; but I will keep going deep with God each day so that when I must follow my God through that valley of the shadow of death, I will come out the other side and find the valley of living waters and the peace of my fellowship with my Lord.

My Prayer for Today: Lord, help me to be sustained when I must walk with You in troubles. Amen

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