by guest author Jennifer Jordan
(Republished with permission from Jennifer Jordan. Originally published Friday, January 15, 2010 on her personal blog.)
This week I’ve been studying the book of Job. I must confess that it’s not my favorite book to read. I think because of the “poeticness” of how it’s written. I did, however, read EVERY chapter!
In the beginning of the story, Job had it all – tons of family and friends, wealth, and loads of farm animals. But then without warning, it’s all taken away. Why? We know, as readers, that God and Satan had worked out a deal, but Job and his friends go all around the world blabbing, trying to figure it out. God knew that Job would not sin against Him, but that doesn’t mean that Job didn’t become angry or frustrated. Job’s friends and family thought they had the answers – saying that it must be his sin or something he had done. They seem to go on and on and on about what all Job must do to get things right and back to “normal” with God. They were trying to figure out the “why” of Job’s affliction.
I feel I can somewhat relate to Job. I haven’t had all the loss or any diseases that Job had, but I have gone through a phase in my life where I wondered, “Why?” Through my struggles with infertility, I, too, felt like Job. Just like Job, I had no warning. Just like Job, I had friends and family that suggested “how to fix it.” Like – you must have done something (sin) that has caused this or you must not be reading the Bible enough or praying enough or even you must not be “doing” it right.
It was not until the very last chapters of Job (when God finally speaks up) that I got it. I can just see God listening to Job and his friends’ conversations thinking “oh my goodness!” I love it when God finally speaks up and says, “Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge?” (Job 38:2) (BTW, after God speaks to them…they are silent!) How many times do we try to “figure things out” without seeking God’s knowledge and considering that His ways are for a specific purpose? Job and his friends had drawn conclusions about why he had gone through all his afflictions without even thinking about the hidden knowledge and purpose of God.
I think Job finally got it too. He says, “I know that you (God) can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted.” (Job 42:2) And then later on Job says, “I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees you… .” (Job 42:5)
I would have never, ever asked to go through infertility. I believe Job would have never asked to go through all he did. But if he had not gone through it, then Job (nor I) would have ever “seen” or known God in such an intimate way.
Tears come to my eyes when I think about how Job found favor with God throughout this whole book. Even though Job was frustrated and angry, he never sinned against God. My ESV Study Bible makes reference to this by saying, “This is probably because Job never lost his earnest desire to appear before God, and his words are testimony to that.” That makes me stop and examine myself. I can’t say that through all my frustration and anger with God and others that I have not sinned, but I’m so very thankful that He forgives, gives mercy, and loves me anyway!
In summary, I love what my study Bible says about the purpose of Job’s story. “The book of Job reminds God’s people that they have an enemy (Satan) who will denounce them, and, through the ignorance of Job’s friends, it helps the faithful to remember at all times how small a part of any situation is the fragment that they see. This equips believers to trust and obey amid life’s perplexities and it enables the faithful to support and encourage one another in a spirit of tenderness and humility.” (ESV Study Bible)
Though I didn’t choose infertility, I am thankful that God has shown Himself faithful and sovereign to me. I have learned to put my trust in Him, knowing that He has a plan and can see farther than I can even imagine. I am thankful for God’s Word, which I have learned to lean on daily. I believe that He WILL bless me and David with a child. I don’t know when, but I will continue to praise Him, trust Him and WAIT for Him, knowing that today I am one day closer!
What His Word reminds me…
Psalm 27:14 “WAIT for the LORD; be strong and take heart and WAIT for the LORD.”
Psalm 130:5 “I WAIT for the LORD, my soul WAITS, and in his word I put my HOPE.”
Romans 8:25 “But if we HOPE for what we do not yet have, we WAIT for it patiently.”
(Editor’s Note: Jennifer and David have indeed been blessed with a child since she wrote this article. Two, in fact! God loves to bless us in His time. Isaiah 64:4 tells us, “Since ancient times no one has heard, no ear has perceived, no eye has seen any God besides you, who acts on behalf of those who wait for him.”)