Everywhere I look, I see the Book of Job. I wrote about that a few weeks ago, in my humor post. At the time, we were reading Job and commentary by Phillip Yancey in Beta Bible Study on Tuesday nights. We finished that series last night, on a day when I was informed that I did not get the job that I desperately wanted and desperately needed. The heteronymic coincidence of that occurence wasn’t lost on me. Job lost everything he desperately wanted and needed, his children, his living, his comfort and peace of mind, his friends and the life he had known as a faithful servant of God. On top of that, his wife’s best advice was to curse God and die.
Then, I check in on my favorite blogger, and he’s talking about Job. His theory is that Job was written as a play, possibly the earliest surviving piece of drama recorded. Job knew drama. His life became a waking nightmare. At some point yesterday, I called out, like Job did, and asked why, God, can’t one tiny, little, insignificant detail of my life come easy? In the last two weeks, I have taken one child to the emergency room, where we stayed all night, been with my family as my dad spent all day in the emergency room after getting hurt at work, discovered this job wasn’t going to happen – a job that would have meant the difference between me paying the bills and what I’ve got now. Why, God? Don’t you care, God? Do you not receive my prayers? see my faithfulness? use my tithes and offering? Where are you, God? Like Job’s friends, I ponder, what have I done that you would abandon me?
I have had many well-meaning people send their sympathy with the kind words that something better must be out there for me. I appreciate the sentiment, but, in reality, I’m mourning this job. It wasn’t just something to pay the bills, this is THE job, as far as I’m concerned. What happened to Job? When he remained faithful to God, and loved him despite the hell on earth God allowed him to endure? He received twice as many possessions and as many children as he had before the “test.” I always wondered about that. He obviously didn’t receive the SAME children, did he? I hardly think of that as a consolation. If I lost my two girls, two different children wouldn’t suddenly curb my loss. I don’t understand God. I would worry about a God so simple and small that I could completely comprehend.
What I find especially comforting about the book of Job is that Job is angry with God, he’s mad. He doesn’t understand; he makes his annoyance known to God. God doesn’t smite him, or shun him, he shows up to talk to Job. God doesn’t answer the charges, doesn’t satisfy Job’s curiosity, but he does lay out his universe and Job’s place within it. God lectures Job for three chapters about all that he did to set the world in motion and continues to do and watch as time moves forward. I read Job and realize how significantly insignificant I am. In the grand scheme of God’s creation, I’m like a grain of sand on the seashore. My life is but an infinitesimal speck, but God cares for me. He knows me. He has a plan for me. What is the anger of a flea against an omnipresent being? God doesn’t strike me in my anger, crush me for my questions, because he desires my love and wants to have a relationship with me.
That’s the message of Job. My life, my job, my finances, shouldn’t mean anything to the all-knowing power of the universe, but they do. I will trust him for those, even if I question, and at times rail against the hurricane. My God is big enough to take my questions. That’s the beauty of being significantly insignificant.
I’ll continue to be obsessed with a job and Job, because one has repercussions for my life and the other for my Life.