You never know how much you really believe anything until its truth or falsehood becomes a matter of life and death to you.
– Philip Yancey
To our devoted Christian minds, the legend of Job’s wife is one of perfidy, treason and unbelief. How dare she ask her husband to deny his faith?
Job’s wife – the treacherous, inconsistent woman who couldn’t hold on to her faith in downtimes; a favorite among clergymen warning their male parishioners of the dangers in marrying a less-than-ideal wife. After all, what is the point of professing a belief if you can’t stand up for it at difficult moments?
I can almost envision you shaking your head in disgust and a frown wrinkling your face to show your displeasure. But before your anger grows so great to obliterate her from history, consider our individual responses to God at those moments when life cramped us into corners so tight, we barely had room to breathe.
We can handle low doses of trouble for short periods but when trouble seems to replace trouble over weeks or months, our faith starts to fray. Fear and doubt rise to the surface. Anger and ultimately a personal disavowal complete the sequence.
Job’s wife watched the life she had come to know get stripped away from her in a day.
But realise it was not that day that she asked her husband to curse God. She is still trying to muse on the event of the past day and mourn her many losses. She is greeted by a sunrise that holds no beauty for her only to behold her very beloved husband covered in boils, and she finally loses it.
How firm did your faith hold the last time it was just one turmoil after another?
After you lost a loved one to cancer or a road accident,
or after that devastating heartbreak that left you an emotional wreck,
or after a layoff that left you jobless,
or after a result on the notice board that read red,
or when you watched your friends get married Saturday after Saturday and nobody showed an inkling of interest in you
or after you’ve had to endure a rape or child abuse
or those very tough moments when it seems that God is not fair.
What did you tell God? Was your mind screaming worship or obscenities?
Maybe you’re no longer fuming at Mrs. Job at this point. Think of all the times you’ve considered giving up your faith. Maybe they were not serious considerations but it crossed your mind. Maybe we’ve also acted like Job’s wife.
The legend of Job’s wife is a story of our everyday life in a fallen world filled with pain. It’s a story of how we look at God with distrust and anger in the midst of all the pains, hurt, distress and turmoil that often plague us.
But most of all, the legend of Job’s wife is a story of a loving father who extends grace to us and forgives us for our many moments of unbelief and gives us all a new slate, helping us trust Him again.
Live by Design.
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