The underpinning of the story of Job is that suffering and God can exist in the same room. Often, our 21st century, polished, and untested faith subscribes to the idea that following God immunizes us from suffering. But the book of Job brings a dose of reality to the conversation of faith in a fallen world. It also brings a breath of fresh air as we face up to the truth of hardship.
There’s a reason why we’re just as intrigued by a bad fall by the Olympic skater as we are the gold medal performance. Because in many cases, we can relate to failure more than we can understand success. But the real Olympic stories that capture our hearts are the athletes who have experienced failure but overcome in the end with success. And so is the story of Job. Unfortunately, to get to the dessert of success, you have to go through the appetizer of failure. And that is where we find Job in chapters 4-6. He is in the throws of frustration, failure, and betrayal. But in the midst of trouble, we must remember that God has not finished writing our story. And in many ways the early chapters of our hardship give us strength to write the later chapters of God’s grace. I love Job’s response in the middle of trouble:
Job 6:24 “Teach me, and I will be silent; make me understand how I have gone astray.”
Even in suffering, he submits to God. I pray I can have a longer view of the story God is writing in my life!